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Correction: Powerball-Lucky Stores story

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 7, 2013 at 11:08 am •  Published: August 7, 2013
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When a winning ticket for a $241 million Powerball jackpot was sold in June 2012 at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Cedar Rapids, the store also got into the spirit. It held up a banner about the winners — 20 Quaker Oats plant workers — and a fake Styrofoam check was posted for others to see.

"I do have customers that they do come here specifically when the numbers get higher," said store manager Jason Busswitz. "For some individuals, it does create a little more excitement around the Powerball machine."

Sometimes that involvement from the store helps ignite interest to return, said Adriana Binns, director of marketing and communication for the New Mexico Lottery.

"When you get those stores where they've actually seen someone win, they're very enthusiastic about it. They know about the game, they have regular customers. A lot of it really does come down to great retailers that support the lottery, understand that there are winners on both sides."

Linda Hamlin, also of the New Mexico Lottery, noted the story of "Millionaire Mary" Torres of Albuquerque. After she sold a $1 million winning Powerball ticket to an Albuquerque man in May 2011, she became known as a good luck charm. Her customers followed her to another store a few miles away.

"It's hard to explain," Hamlin said of people who think such buying strategy gives them an edge. "It's illogical because this whole nature of good luck and how random it is. You never know when and where good fortunate is going to strike."

Luck may be random, but there are more winning lottery tickets for smaller $1 million and $2 million prizes since a major overhaul of the Powerball game in January 2012. An increase in ticket prices from $1 to $2 was aimed at building jackpots faster and generating more money.

Those smaller prizes still carry a big punch for its winners, and some people are willing to try any strategy to win them.

"Humans tend to be superstitious about things," said Strutt of the Multi-State Lottery Association. "We all have our ways to ensure our best luck. But every ticket has the exact same chance of winning."

The next drawing is scheduled for Wednesday night.

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Follow Barbara Rodriguez at https://twitter.com/bcrodriguez