$250,000 raffle draws big crowd to Engine House in Mount Clemens as winner announced

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

MT. CLEMENS, Mich. - For 49 weeks every Wednesday, the Engine House in Mount Clemens has been packed with people trying to hit a jackpot.

The Detroit Firefighters Benevolent Fund has been hosting a progressive raffle. For $1, you get a ticket. Write your name on the ticket and then choose an envelope they have affixed to the wall.

In each envelope is a card from a deck of cards, and they’re all numbered. Not only do you have to have your raffle ticket picked, you need to correctly guess where the jack of spades is. Nobody had correctly guessed, swelling the jackpot to over $250,000 Wednesday night.

“We’re busy all the time, but this raffle is making it crazy,” Engine House owner John Gusumano said. He estimates 40,000 tickets were sold just this week.

Finally, a winner was drawn. Kyle Hodgkins’ ticket was called. Hodgkins wasn’t there when it was announced that he won and he was flabbergasted when Local 4 called him.

“I’m still trying to take all this in right now,” he said.

It turns out his sister, Kristen, bought tickets for both of them. The family has had a terrible week. They lost their grandfather on Monday. Kristen lost her job on Tuesday and figured they were due some good luck.

The winner gets 70 percent of the jackpot, while the Detroit Firefighters Benevolent Fund gets 30 percent.

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