The old slogan "You have to play to win" may be true for most of us, but for Pennsylvania Lottery retailers, a big payday can come without spending a dime. Lottery sales sites stand to rake in big bucks when a winning ticket is purchased on their turf, which means that every ticket sold has a chance to bring a store some lottery luck.
According to the Pennsylvania Lottery website, while retailers receive 5 percent commission on every ticket sold, the sale of a winning Powerball ticket can net the lucky selling store a promotional bonus that ranges from $500 to $100,000.
Check out this roundup of lucky local lottery sites.
* A Fairless Hills newsstand was the site for a lucky lottery sale last December, when a Powerball ticket worth $50 million was sold at Levittown News & Tobacco. According to CBS Philly, the owner of the shop was informed by lottery officials that his store sold the winning ticket, and the family-owned business received a $100,000 bonus for selling it. Store owner Rakesh Raina said his plans for his windfall included throwing a customer appreciation party.
* A gas station in New Holland has been dubbed a "lucky" lottery spot after a winning ticket from the national Powerball lottery was sold there last year just a few years after a $500,000 ticket was sold at the same location. According to WGAL, a million-dollar Powerball ticket was sold at the New Holland Shell Station in Lancaster County, netting the store owner a cool $5,000. Patrick Desai said, "I share it with all my employees, everybody."
* In 2012, a Philly newsstand was the site for a mega windfall for 48 SEPTA workers who won a $172.7-million Powerball jackpot. According to 6 ABC, the winning ticket was purchased at The News Stand at the Gallery, located at Ninth and Market streets in Philadelphia, last April. The newsstand received a $100,000 check for selling the jackpot-winning ticket, while the SEPTA crew (which ranged from members of upper management to a janitor) each collected close to $3 million after their 48-way split.
* Pennsylvania's twice-yearly Millionaire Raffle drawing offers players "the very best odds of winning $1 million," with a 1 in 125,000 chance of a seven-figure payout. The most recent winning Millionaire Raffle tickets were sold at the Giant Food Store in Mechanicsburg, Uni Mart in Reynoldsville, Wegman's Food Market in Williamsport, and Exxon Ikes in Easton. All four stores received $5,000 for selling the winning numbers. The next Millionaire Raffle will be held in July.
* And even if a jackpot goes unclaimed, the selling store still gets its take. According to My Fox Philly, a Montgomery County convenience store sold an as-of-yet unclaimed $325,000 Cash 5 ticket. While the winning ticket holder has until March 18 -- the one-year anniversary of the lottery drawing -- to claim his or her cash, the Pottstown Wawa already received $500 for selling it. Meanwhile, down the pike at Cole's Tobacco, a sale last year of a winning Cash 5 ticket earned that store a bonus, as well. Store owner Cindy Brower bought a new digital scale with her $500 lottery check, but the winner never claimed his or her $330,000 jackpot.
Victoria Leigh Miller is a freelance writer and lifelong Pennsylvania resident.
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