How "lucky" are NC's counties in the lotto? - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

How "lucky" are NC's counties in the lotto?

One of the signs people are greeted with as they enter the store. One of the signs people are greeted with as they enter the store.
One of the "lucky" stores in Brunswick County. One of the "lucky" stores in Brunswick County.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – With several recent big wins in Brunswick County some people are buying tickets in the county, hoping to find a lucky spot. But, what stores in the county could be considered the luckiest? obtained information from the North Carolina Education Lottery that shows how area stores and counties in the state stack up against each other.

WECT requested a breakdown from fiscal year 2012 for how much was given out in each county in prizes and how much each store in Brunswick County makes in ticket sales and how much the stores have paid out for prizes less than $600.

By and large, the counties with the biggest populations gave out the most in prizes. Lottery officials said that makes sense because the more tickets that are sold, the more should be paid out in prizes.

How area counties stack up

Here's how counties in our area stacked up for sales and where they rank in terms of population:

Bladen County - 57th in prizes, 69th in population

Brunswick County -32nd in prizes, 24th in population

Columbus County - 47th in prizes, 49th in population

New Hanover County - 14th in prizes, 8th in population

Pender County – 51st in prizes, 53rd in population

Which stores are the luckiest?

But, how do stores in Brunswick County stack up? There are a couple of stores in Brunswick County that are near the top of the list for both ticket sales and the amount of prizes given out for prizes less than $600. But there are some stores that are getting some big wins as well.

The store at the top of the list for ticket sales and prizes given out is the Citgo store in Calabash. During the 2012 fiscal year, that store had four winning tickets of $10,000 or more and the store manager said people are starting to notice the "winning ticket sold here" signs inside the store.

"Just yesterday we had a $1,000 winner.  A couple of weeks ago $1,800, so we're constantly having winners," said store manager Trey Morgan.

He said since the store is so close to the South Carolina line, people from both states show up to play.

"Everybody comes here to play," he said.

But, that's not the only store with big winners. The Minuteman Food Mart in Ocean Isle Beach has had four big winners in the past year. One of those was an almost $227,000 prize. Lady Luck also may have paid a visit to the Food Lion in Sunset Beach. This past year it awarded three big prizes and one of those was for $150,000.

One lottery official said it's important to remember that over a long enough period of time, numbers should even out and one area shouldn't be any better than another because the lottery tries to make the games as random as possible, so everyone has a chance to win.

But some people hope the luck in Brunswick County sticks around.

"We've had our cold streaks and right now we're on a hot street so hopefully we can keep it going," Morgan said.

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