Jacqueline Hensley will start hearing it from customers at William J. O’Neill Sales Exchange a couple weeks after Ash Wednesday.

Where are the jellybeans?

When are the jellybeans coming?

When I get back here, you better have jellybeans.

(OK, maybe not that last one.)

“They just get used to seeing them this time each year,” said Hensley, also the president of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, whose business promotions committee runs the annual jellybean-counting contest.

No one this week knew off-hand how long the contest has been happening, but committee head Lori Belmonte of The Colony Shop says at least 25 years. 

Here’s how it works:

If you see a sign indicating there are jellybeans at a business, then walk in and take a few guesses at how many jellybeans are in that particular jar. (You’re allowed multiple guesses in multiple stores.)

Each person who guesses the closest in each store will be declared the winner on Monday, March 28, the day after Easter, and be entered into the $200 drawing, which happens March 29.

“It’s just good, clean family fun,” Hensley said. “You’ll have people who are way off, but everyone has their own mathematical way of approaching it. All the stores use different containers; that could throw some people off who might be good at guessing.

Some stores, like O’Neill’s, offer their own prizes to the individual winner.

At the very least, Hensley said, the winners should be able to keep the jellybeans.

“As long as the employees don’t eat them,” she said.

participating businesses

Berry Good Yogurt, 14 East Main Street, Patchogue

The Cheese Patch, 20 East Main Street, Patchogue

Cirigliano Agency/All State Insurance, 629 Route 112, Suite 10, Patchogue

The Colony Shop, 31 East Main Street, Patchogue

David’s Shoe Emporium, 66 East Main Street, Patchogue

Edward Jones Financial Services, 180 East Main Street, Patchogue

Family Melody, 77 South Ocean Avenue, Patchogue

JonMichelle Hair Design, 22 West Main Street, rear suite 15, Patchogue

Perabell Food Bar, 69 East Main Street, Patchogue

Plaza Media Arts Center, 20 Terry Street, Patchogue

Mayer’s Flower Cottage, 400 Medford Avenue, Patchogue

Roast Coffee & Tea, 41 East Main Street, Patchogue

Sachem Dental, 38 Oak Street, Patchogue

Sensationally Sweet, 18 East Main Street, Patchogue

Suffolk County National Bank, 2801, Route 112, Suite B, Medford

Tall Tree Floral Designs, 143 Medford Avenue, Patchogue

Teachers Federal Credit Union, 31 West Main Street, Patchogue

That Meetball Place, 31 East Main Street, Patchogue, 52-54, West Main Street

The Therapy Center for Children, 156 North Ocean Avenue, Patchogue

Tutor Time of East Patchogue, 655 East Main Street, East Patchogue

William J. O’Neill’s Sales Exchange, 1 East Main Street, Patchogue

Harbor Crab Company, 116 Division Street, Patchogue