CLEVELAND-- The Queen of Hearts drawing at Grayton Road Tavern will make its return after the Ohio Attorney General's Office released a statement on Friday.
The tavern suspended ticket sales when the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office asked Attorney General Mike DeWine to determine whether the game was legal.
"Based upon the information provided by the prosecutor, games such as this would not violate the law if the game had a meticulous and defined set of rules, all money collected from participants was distributed to winners by the game's final round, and the proprietor did not take a cut of the prize pool," DeWine said in a news release on Friday.
According to Grayton Road Tavern, tickets will go on sale beginning Thursday, May 17; the first drawing will be Wednesday, May 23.
Last time around, the tavern's drawing went on for 50 weeks with the jackpot reaching $5.5 million before someone selected the number hiding the queen. About $550,000 was set aside as prize money for the next game.
"It is important to note that 'Queen of Hearts' games are not regulated by any state office, including the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Local law enforcement has authority to investigate any of these games or claims made by proprietors. Our opinion was based upon current law and the information provided by the prosecutor. I certainly understand concerns about games such as this with large prize pools but without any oversight to protect consumers. In light of the lack of protection for consumers, I would encourage the Ohio General Assembly to review these games," DeWine said.
“Oh my gosh; we were super happy, super excited,” said General Manager Jennifer Natale, upon learning Attorney General Mike DeWine's opinion.
Natale then thanked DeWine and everyone who has helped make the game such a huge success. She says it was the largest Queen of Hearts game in the country.
She says that’s why they’ve added prizes this time around.
Natale says five winning tickets will be drawn each week.
If the first ticket doesn’t produce the Queen of Hearts, the person might still win $10,000 or even $20,000.
The next four tickets drawn will win cash prizes of $4,000, $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000.
“It’s just more money giving back,” said Natale, “making it more exciting this time.”
Ticket kiosks have also been installed at the Grayton Road Tavern to make purchasing and filling them out faster and easier.
Tickets will also be sold at the Harry Buffalo restaurants in North Olmsted and Elyria and Hooley House in Mentor and Montrose.