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‘Queen of Hearts’ winner wants to help revitalize her community

MANTUA, OH – The queen of hearts finally showed her face. After 52 weeks of drawings for the now infamous “Queen of Hearts” card game a local woman just became a multi-millionaire. 69-year-old Terri Vechery of Mantua won $3.4 million dollars. She sat down with Fox 8 first to talk about her big plans for the life changing money.

“I would like to see Mantua Village revitalized,” said Vechery. “If we could start a business or two in Mantua Village. I would certainly invest in my community.”

It’s a goal Vechery says she can now accomplish thanks to the stunning win. Aaron King, the owner of SkyLane Bowling Alley where the card game is played called Vechery Sunday to give her the news.

“He goes ‘it's the queen of hearts’ and I say oh what does that mean again?” said Vechery. “He goes it means you won $3.4 million dollars! From there it was like screaming and getting my kids and not believing it I had to sit down it's still very surreal.”

The big win was possible thanks to just one ticket. It was Vechery’s first time playing the game. According to the game rules, Vechery will walk away with 90 percent of the jackpot. After taxes King estimates it’s more than $2 million dollars.

“Out of all the thousands of people from all over the state that were playing this week she won with one ticket,” said King. “It's really amazing.”

Veschery says she will put her new-found fame and cash towards improving her hometown. As a grant writer and active member in her community, Vechery says she has been working to restore a former school building on Mantua Center Road. Ultimately Vechery hopes the building will become a community center for children and teens.

“I just want to invest in the future of my community for my grandchildren and my children and I think that's where money should be spent,” said Vechery.

A new round of the game will start again in late October. Ten percent of the winnings from Vechery’s jackpot will roll over to start next month’s “Queen of Hearts” game. King says the winner of a 50/50 raffle Sunday received $156,000 dollars. He adds over the course of the raffle more than half a million dollars has been given to local charities and organizations including the local police department, high school and library.

Read more here.