Beating the odds: Some lottery retailers ‘luckier’ than others

Some stores sold over 100 winning tickets in a 2-year span

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When you think of scratch off or general lottery tickets, you probably think the odds are against you and there’s no rhyme or reason to it.

Well, we have found there are some stores that appear luckier than others, specifically one store in Northwest Jacksonville. It’s a store that has made the news before for its apparent luck.

That is the Shell station at the intersection of Edgewood Avenue and Avenue B in Northwest Jacksonville.

Back in 2015, News4Jax looked into the top stores statewide that sell tickets that paid $600 or more. At that level of winning, winners are required to fill out a claim form, which includes where the ticket was purchased. For that reason, we’re able to find out which retailers are selling tickets that lead to bigger prizes. At the time, the Edgewood Shell ranked as second in the state.

That trend remains for this same small gas station. News4Jax pulled the numbers for 2017 and 2018 and that same Shell station is still the dominant top seller for Northeast Florida.

It sold more winning tickets worth $600 or more in 2017 and 2018, with a total of 156 of those winners. That may be partially due to the fact that the store sells more tickets than others. The store sold 2,170,836 tickets in draw games during that time, and more scratch-off tickets than any other store in the region with 1,043,174 scratch-offs sold during that period.

Three other retailers in the area also sold more than 100 tickets worth $600 or more in this time frame: Publix #1177 on Merrill Road (103 winners), Day N Nite Food Store on Lem Turner Road (102 winners) and One Stop Chevron #2 on U.S. 90 in Lake City (102 winners).

Scroll to the bottom of this story to view an interactive map showing details on which stores near you most frequently sell winning lottery tickets and scratch-offs (App users click here).

And there’s also the question of which games pay out the most big winners. Based on the same lottery data – looking at winners of $600 or more – Pick 4 resulted in the most winners, followed by several scratch-off games. Keep in mind, other games may lead to bigger prizes, but these are the games resulting in the most winners of $600 or more.

In our research, we also found there are certain frequent players of lotto games that have won a lot between 2017 and 2018.

In our region the most frequent winner was a woman named Hasumati Patel. She purchased 48 winning tickets worth $70,500 during this two-year window. All the tickets were purchased from Columbia Discount Beverage in Lake City.

We traveled to Columbia Discount Beverage to ask about it. Turns out, her husband Nick Patel is the owner of the store. “Well buying by the bulk," he said. “More chances to win or something like that.”

Being that Patel’s wife was the winner on so many tickets we reached out to the Florida Lottery to make sure there weren’t any legal issues with a lottery distributor’s wife purchasing tickets. The Lottery said there’s not. Only employees of the Florida Lottery are not allowed to purchase tickets. However, individual vendors at stores like Columbia Discount Beverage are allowed to buy as many tickets as they want.

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