Queen of Hearts Stays Hidden at Barry Dyngles

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – He didn’t walk away with the huge jackpot, but for a few minutes Ray Clark was the happiest man in northeastern Ohio.

It was Clark’s ticket that was drawn for the Barry Dyngles Pub Queen of Hearts game, one of more than 306,000 entered to win the jackpot – which Wednesday night hit $778,203.

On his ticket, Clark picked card No. 38. When it was flipped, the crowd held its breath as the nine of hearts was revealed, eliciting a groan from the crowd estimated at 10,000.

“I thought I was the luckiest man alive at one time,” Clark said afterward. “I was really excited to have my name called. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but it would have been even better to have the right number. I wasn’t lucky enough to have that, though.”

Clark, who lives in Liberty, retired from Delphi in 2006. He bought 225 tickets with nine other people, including his wife, daughter and brother. Each chipped in $25 and, had they won, would have split the prize money.

“My share would probably have been to pay off some bills. I just put in a new patio deck and this would have helped with that,” Clark said. “I sure am going to try again. I don’t think I’ll be as lucky as I was this time, but I’ll try again.”

With so many tickets sold, some criticisms arose about how Barry Dyngles was storing the tickets – in a 40-gallon garbage can – for the drawings. This week Nannicola Bingo Supply, who provided the Queen of Hearts board to the restaurant, built a large plastic tumbler to hold the tickets. Before the drawing, Dyngles manager Doug Duganne spun the tumbler several times.Then Allyson Yukech, who’s been selling tickets for the restaurant all week, pulled one out.

“There’s no more trash can. That was our No. 1 complaint – how were we making sure they were really mixed up. This makes it so they’re mixed up very well,” Duganne said.

As the game has progressed and the crowds have grown, people have become increasingly confident that theirs is the winning ticket.

“I feel it. I had a dream. There was pallet full of money, all $100 bills, and I scooped up two bundles and that was $100,000,” said Mike Sandusky of Campbell before the drawing. “Then I looked in one of those number books and it said, ‘You’re going to coming into a large amount of cash. You’ve got a big winner coming. You’re lucky.’ That was a week ago, so I’m riding it.”

Sandusky bought seven tickets – “It’s a lucky number,” he said – and played card No. 53, his age. He has a plan for what he’ll do should he win.

“I’m going to spend some. I’ll give a big chunk to animal charity because I love animals,” he added. “We’ll take care of the charities first – help out the dogs and cats, be their voice – and the rest will be for bills and partying.”

Sandusky arrived at the restaurant with a few friends around 2:30. All brought their own chairs or seat cushions.

“I figured I’d bring my own chair because I knew the chairs here would be out in the sun. I grabbed a spot in the shade and I’m laying back, hoping I win,” said Jim Guy of Poland, who came with Sandusky.

Guy hesitantly said he thought he had the winner, then noted the bigger part of the event is the experience.

“If we don’t [win], it’s not a big deal. I’m enjoying it. I’m retired, so I’m just here people watching,” Guy said. “You see all walks of life. It couldn’t be better. This is better than the mall.”

Karen Schimley from Niles was part of a group who bought 450 tickets.

“Yes. Absolutely,” she said about whether she’d win. “We know we’re the winners. I’ve got my ‘Luck of the Irish’ shirt on, so I’m good to go.”

After yesterday’s drawing, eight cards remain on the Queen of Hearts board at Barry Dyngles Pub. Tickets for next week’s drawing go on sale at 11 a.m. today when the restaurant opens, and will be sold until just before the next drawing. The jackpot is expected to come close to $1 million.

Pictured: Ray Clark stands beside the tumbler from which his ticket was drawn.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.