After weeks of waiting, a Sparta man won the $1.5 million jackpot Thursday night in the Queen of Hearts raffle at the American Legion.
The Legion was packed, with thousands of people in and around the building, all hoping their card would be drawn. Because the raffle had reached the maximum jackpot allowed under city ordinance, a winner had to be selected Thursday.
The winner was a man named Brian Parks. He and his wife are from Sparta, according to The Southern Illinoisan. The queen of hearts was the eighth card picked.
He added that he planned to pay off bills with the money. He and his wife were ecstatic to have won the massive jackpot.
Parks told The Southern Illinoisan that he did not intend to retire from his job, but his wife might.
Traffic and parking were backed up for at least a quarter mile in every direction from the Legion. Toward the end of the night, an ambulance had trouble getting through the crowds to transport someone who needed assistance.
Police were not able to provide further details on that incident Thursday night.