Some Michigan retailers are lucky spots for lottery players
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“We don’t rush the customer,” he said. “I’ve been in stores where they do.”
The lottery sales are good for business. many people just stop to play, but Shaina estimates that 40% or more of them also buy something else in the store. he noticed the difference when the state added daily drawings on Sunday.
“Business picked up,” he said.
The store has never sold a mega jackpot, like the ones collected last week, but it’s not uncommon for players to win $5,000 or $10,000, Shaina said.
The Wesko #31 in Muskegon led the state in instant ticket sales, selling almost $582,000. it doesn’t have any huge signs or elaborate promotions, but it does quickly put out new games to attract the customers.
“If there’s a secret, it’s just good retail execution,” said Dan Yerkie, director of merchandise for Wesko, the company that owns the gas station and convenience store. “Getting the games out there right away. the lottery will tell you that 39% of new instant sales occur in the first week of a game.”
Most of the money that goes into the lottery gets paid out in prizes. According to preliminary numbers for the most recent fiscal year, about 58% went to prizes, 29% went to the state school aid fund, 7% went to retailers and the rest was spent on administrative, advertising and other expenses, including 0.1% to the compulsive gaming hot line, Brancato said.
So where’s the best place to buy a ticket?
Many people consider the Party World store in Comstock Park, just outside Grand Rapids, to be the sweet spot. In one six-month period in 2008, three customers became millionaires.
The store sold two, $1-million winning Millionaire Raffle tickets and a Mega Millions ticket worth $57 million. It’s also sold numerous $100,000 winners in recent years.
Dave Castor, a manager at the family-owned business, attributes the luck to a four-leaf clover taped to the lottery terminal. Owner Dan Bekins found it about 20 years ago when he was cleaning up in the grass near the store.
“He said it’s been his lucky charm ever since,” said Castor, Bekins’ brother-in-law. “We have customers come who insist on tapping their tickets on it.”
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