When Todd Lipa's ticket was drawn in the Farmington Rotary Club's Nov. 15 Queen of Hearts raffle, he turned to his friend Kevin Ostach, who was sitting next to him at John Cowley & Sons in downtown Farmington.
"I said, 'Let me rub your head and come up with a number'," said Lipa, who is Youth and Program Services director for the City of Farmington Hills.
Lipa had his choice of numbered envelopes, and inside #40, Lipa found the queen of hearts. That netted him a jackpot of a little over $10,400, after taxes.
As Lipa picked up his check Thursday, Ostach was out of town, but joined in the festivities via iPad's Facetime application. The Rotary, which funds scholarships and supports local charities, also delivered checks to ticket-selling partners the Xemplar Club ($1,501), Botsford Hospital Volunteer Services ($454) and the Farmington High School Music Patrons ($80).
Lipa said he has purchased tickets every week since the raffle launched more than 10 months ago. "I lost track after probably about 600," he said, adding that he bought a number of tickets every week and would, along with others, toss in a few dollars if the pot was close to a big number.
The first check from the proceeds made him a charter member of the Farmington-Farmington Hills Education Foundation, which aims to raise funds that will provide support for innovative Farmington Public Schools programs in technology, scholastic achievement, arts and extracurricular enrichment.
"It's a way to give back to the community," he said. "I really hope everyone will contribute if they can. It's important to give our kids every opportunity we can."
He also plans to buy a nice chair for his family room.
The Farmington Rotary Club's Queen of Hearts raffle continues on Thursdays, 9 p.m., at John Cowley & Sons, through Jan. 24, 2013. On that night, the draw will continue until there's a winner. Tickets are $1 and can be purchased the night of the drawing or from Rotary and partner organization members.
Clarification: The date of the final queen of hearts raffle drawing was added to the original version of this story.