AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – When sales of the Queen of Hearts tickets actually got underway on Friday morning at Barry Dyngles in Austintown, thousands of people were lining the parking lot, even trailing down a nearby side street. The first people in line actually arrived before 8 a.m. — three hours before ticket sales were scheduled to start.
Susan Dobrindt, who said she was in line for an hour and a half, left with $190 worth of tickets. Rather than staying and filling them out right there, the Austintown woman decided to return with them later.
“I’m going to take them to my friend’s house, and everybody’s gonna meet there at lunchtime,” she said. “We’ll fill them out together.”
WKBN saw quite a few people leaving with dozens — even hundreds — of tickets, filling them out somewhere else and bringing them back later. The tickets were dropped in a five gallon bucket that is under the watchful eyes of an Austintown police officer.
“I take them home. I fill them out and then I bring them back the day before the drawing. Why? I don’t know. It’s just something that I’ve done every week,” said Holly Tomlin.
But what is to prevent someone from trying to cheat the system, by purchasing their own tickets and claiming they bought them at Barry Dyngles? WKBN received several questions about the validity of the drawing via the “Report It” feature on WKBN’s website.
Barry Dyngles Manager Doug Duganne said ticket buyers can rest assured that the drawing will be fair.
“We actually take a picture of every single roll,” he said.
Duganne said each of the ticket rolls start with 2,000 tickets, and workers have gone through 115 rolls in the last two days. These tickets are carefully tracked, he said.
“We actually track every roll that we put out for sale, so when is an eventual winner, we have proof that, that we sold them,” he said.
Duganne also said all of the game’s expenses, including those tickets which cost $100 for a case of 20 rolls, come out of the restaurant’s bottom line and not from ticket sales.
Customers that spoke with WKBN on Friday said they believe the game is legitimate.
“You know what? You ride out to Vegas in a Cadillac, you come back in a Greyhound,” said Troy Mild, laughing. “Hey, you gotta play to win right?”
And those who lined up around the restaurant on Friday are hoping that they’re playing the right number.
The Barry Dyngles Queen of Hearts drawing is set for 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the pub on Raccoon Road.
If you can’t make it to the drawing, WKBN will once again be streaming the drawing live, both on our website and via the WKBN app. Our live stream will start at 7:20 p.m., 10 minutes before the drawing.