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Muskegon store sold most winning lottery tickets

8:06 PM, Aug 8, 2013   |    comments
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(Freep/Lansing State Journal) -- Lightning isn't supposed to strike twice, but it apparently can strike 40 times.

At least, for some patrons of Mario's Market in southwest Lansing.

The convenience and liquor store has sold at least 40 winning lottery tickets worth more than $2,000 since July 2011, the most of any location in mid-Michigan in that time, based on a Lansing State Journal analysis of Michigan Lottery records.

"We do a lot with the lottery. ... It means a lot" to the business, manager Ginger Tate said.

DATABASESee if your Michigan Lottery retailer has sold lots of big winners

The lottery is, by nature, random, so state officials are adamant that shopping at specific retailers has no effect on players' odds. But the analysis revealed that some locations do sell more winning tickets than others.

Using data from the state lottery's website, the State Journal compiled and reviewed winning lottery tickets worth $2,000 or more that were claimed between July 2011 and June 2013.

The query yielded more than 52,700 winning tickets - worth nearly $690 million - across all lottery games except for the Daily 3, for which there was no data available.

Statewide, Sunny Mart in Muskegon sold the most winning tickets claimed by prizewinners since July 2011, the State Journal found. The store sold at least 87 tickets that were, together, worth more than $1.1 million.

Lottery officials say specific locations can't influence results, but there is a connection between a high volume of winning tickets and more populous geographic areas. The state's larger cities generated more winning tickets than others, the State Journal found. For instance, Detroit - with 700,000 residents - had more than 30% of the winning tickets claimed since July 2011.

Michigan Lottery spokeswoman Andi Brancato said population density can affect how many winning tickets might be in a certain area, but it still doesn't change the odds of specific games.

"If you look at where we have the most people in the state, the logical conclusion is we have more players there, which means we have more winners," she said. "The odds are the same regardless of where you buy your ticket. It makes no difference where you are in the state."

The Michigan Lottery is regulated by its own provisions in state law. It was established in 1972 as a way to support public schools. Since then, more than $17.4 billion has been given to the School Aid Fund. By comparison, the fund's has a budget is of nearly $13 billion for this year.

The state budget year that ended in September was a record-breaker for the lottery, - with the greatest ticket sales, the biggest jackpot winner and the largest contribution to the School Aid Fund in the lottery's four-decade history.

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