ANSONIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Thousands of people descended on an Ansonia bar Thursday night for the winning drawing for a Queen of Hearts board, which awarded the winner more than half a million dollars.
An estimated 15,000 people gathered outside The Whistle Stop, a bar that has been open in Ansonia since the late 1800’s.
People got to purchase raffle tickets to win chances to draw a card. The winner is the person who draws the Queen of Hearts. Jason Borering of St. Henry, who made the winning draw, was awarded the jackpot prize of $580,000.
The bar’s owner, Andrew Riffle, said he started the first Queen of Hearts board two years ago when he took over the bar. This was the third board, Riffle said, and got more and more participants each week thanks to word spreading on social media.
“The first time we came we could all stand in the parking lot and mingle,” said Heidi Whitesel, who was visiting from Indiana and entered for the drawing. “There wasn’t a lot of people here. And every week it’s gotten bigger and bigger. I think it’s great for Ansonia.”
“As you can imagine, when you bring 15,000 people to a town of 1,200, it puts a lot of pressure on this town,” Riffle said. “And they just welcomed it. I hear nothing but good things about how people are treated, and I think that’s another reason why this event’s grown so quickly.”
The Whistle Stop plans on starting another Queen of Hearts board, which is expected to begin in the spring, Riffle said.