(CBS) – They were playing for the queen of hearts — or so they thought.
Hundreds of residents in the small city of Morris and beyond had high hopes of winning a million-dollar raffle.
Those dreams are dashed, for now, CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
There are more than a half million raffle tickets in this Morris VFW tumbler. Post 6049 Grandmaster Jerry Peterson says it’ll be guarded like gold at Fort Knox.
“I sealed it with Saran Wrap. I put evidence tape on it,” he says.
That’s because a drawing for the Queen of Hearts $1.6 million jackpot, which was supposed to take place Monday, is on hold after the Illinois Gaming Board stepped in.
“They realized we didn’t a city raffle license. We didn’t know that it even existed,” Peterson says.
They found out, in all likelihood, because of this woman, anti-illegal gambling activist Kathy Gilroy. She notified the gaming board and Morris’s mayor and police department when she realized the drawing would actually be illegal.
She says if everything were in order she would have no problem with the drawing.
Many have had a big problem with the raffle’s suspension. Peterson even closed the hall to be safe.
“The money’s still there. Same amount, same everything,” he says.
Peterson hopes to get everything worked out, legally, in the next few weeks.