Where to Buy a Ticket in RI if You Want to Win the Lottery
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Selling lottery tickets has become a great way for stores to make a profit. According to Anthony Bettone, owner of Olde Smoke Shoppe in the Providence Arcade, and verified by Sandra Lee from the Rhode Island Lottery Headquarters, stores receive eight-percent of ticket sales from machine games and five-percent from scratch ticket sales. Bettone also added that store owners receive one-percent of lottery ticket wins claimed at their store.
“Anything under $600, if they claim it at my store, I get the money,” said Bottone. “I’m a small store so I count every penny. I would say that half of my income comes from the lottery.”
Ticket sales may be great for the state and for the store owners, but any customer who plays the Lottery is hoping to win big for themselves. Within these past two years, the Rhode Island Lottery has had more than 400 prizes claimed with a value of $10,000 dollars or more, including two PowerBall® Jackpot winners, claimed a mere month apart. These jackpots paid out top prizes of $210 million in March of 2012 and $37.1 million in April after the winners chose to take a lump sum payout.
The odds may be against the common ticket holder to strike a top prize but many of Rhode Island’s cities, towns and even specific stores can be deemed luckier than others. According to information compiled from the Rhode Island Lottery website, Cranston, Warwick, and Providence have all had 50 or more ticket claims of $10,000 or more within the calendar years of 2011 and 2012.
“It’s nice to have these big winners,” said George Barbosa, manager of Barbosa Liquors in Providence. “[The Lottery] gives us posters to hang up at the store; the word definitely gets around on where they were won.”
Stores like Barbosa Liquors may be located in a city with high amounts of top-tiered ticket claims – the liquor store has sold two: a Wild Money ticket claim of $58,340 and a Lucky for Life® ticket claim of $25,000 a year for life, with a minimum of a 20 year payout –but there are stores that have found a winning recipe all of their own.
Four stores have sold five or more tickets claimed within the 2011 and 2012 calendar years for a prize of $10,000 or more, including one store – Convenience Plus in Johnston – with 10 winning tickets in that period. Stores like Fast Freddie’s Exxon in Greenville, who have sold five of the village’s six winning ticket claims, have become real hotspots for ticket wins. Stores like these may not claim to be luckier than any other store, but they certainly have the customer support to continue the winning trends.
“We have a lot of repeat customers,” said Jacob Beausoleil, an employee of Fast Freddie’s Exxon. “Some will come in every morning and stay for a few hours, spending as much as $400 to $500 on scratch tickets.”
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