A trip around the world? Early retirement? Fancy new house? Everybody’s got a dream and the lottery is what dreams are made of.
Take a chance, buy a ticket and you could walk away with millions.
Some regular lottery players insist where you play can improve your odds of winning.
"It's a lucky place," said Fran Lewis as she purchased lottery tickets at Murray Bros. Old Time Store in Norwood. “I think the biggest I’ve won was 30, 30 thousand.”
FOX19 NOW analyzed lottery data from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana for 2014 to see if there’s any truth to the “lucky store” theory. As we looked through the lottery numbers, we found there were stores that paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars, but those same stores also sold a lot more tickets.
One store, White Oak Deli & Convenience Store at 6035 Cheviot Road in Cincinnati, paid out more than $10,400,000 in prizes in 2014. While that’s a huge number, the lion’s share of that went to one player - a woman who hit the jackpot and won $10 million on a 40th Anniversary Millions instant ticket.
“They want the winning ticket, as soon as they enter the door,” said Bob Chas, the owner of the White Oak Deli & Convenience Store. “We need another 10 million, that’s what they say.”
In fact, Chas has put that winning $10 million ticket on display. Other winning tickets have new life, tacked up around the store – aspirational wallpaper for big dreamers. A big winner can be a big draw for customers and can mean more business for retailers.
Last year, the Ohio lottery had nearly three billion dollars in sales. In Kentucky and Indiana, there were close to $2 billion in sales combined.
For the calendar year 2014, The Ohio Lottery had $1.56 billion dollars in sales in instant games and $1.32 billion dollars in draw games. The Ohio Lottery had approximately $80.8 million in Powerball claims on prizes ranging from $10,000 to the jackpot in 2014.
Mary Ann Thompson of Conneaut won the $122 million advertised Powerball jackpot drawn July 9, 2014, and chose the $73.1 million cash option payment. In addition to that win, Ohio had five $1 million Powerball winners and one $2 million Powerball winners in 2014.
According to data provided by our sister state WAVE, Deters & Daughters Liquor at 3663 Madison Pike in Covington shelled out $354,370 in prizes in 2014. According to Kentucky Lottery officials, a Covington man recently won $200,000 playing Kentucky Cash Ball at Deters & Daughters Liquors. The winner was from the June 13 drawing.
Despite what the data showed, lottery officials reject the idea that some stores have a lucky charm.
"They think there is some secret mojo that exists at that particular retailer that's going to help them win,” said Chip Polston, Kentucky Lottery Vice President of Communications. “Is there? absolutely not."
Other Northern Kentucky retailers at the top of the list for 2014 include Turfway Liquors at 7135 Turfway Road in Florence with $216,318 in claims and Circle K at 207 W Fourth in Covington with $241, 435 in claims.
In the Cincinnati metro area, other stores with big winners include Speedway at 1143 St. Rt. 131 in Milford, with a $5 million winner, Ohio Pike Marathon at 173A East Ohio Pike in Amelia also a $5 million claim, Mason Marathon at 639 Reading Rd., that paid out a $1 million prize on a 40th Anniversary Millions instant winner and the Ameristop Food Mart at 3385 Springdale Rd. in Cincinnati with a $500,000 winner.
Then there are retailers like Murray Bros. Old Time Store. While the biggest 2014 single prize payout was $100,000, the store’s sales far exceeded that because of regular players who swear the place brings them lots o’ luck. The store is certainly sweet, it’s primarily an old time candy store, where you can buy some gumballs with your Powerball.
Clerk Lori Diehm said 90 percent of the store’s business is the lottery.
“We try to accommodate their needs,” Diehm said.
“It’s lucky, it’s friendly, it’s a neighborhood,” said Lewis, who insists she doesn’t have a lucky number. “It’s premonition really.”
The Ohio Lottery has a way to look up retailers that have paid out prizes of $1 million or more since 2011. Here’s the lucky link.