Bodie's Shell convenience store proves lucky for lottery players

Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 4:07 PM
Last updated Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 12:39 PM
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Charles Drayton travels from North Augusta to buy his lottery tickets at Bodie’s Shell convenience store on 13th Street, where he figures his luck is best.

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Bodie's Shell Station offers its own register and seating area for customers to play a wide variety of lottery games including scratch-offs, Keno and electronic games.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Bodie's Shell Station offers its own register and seating area for customers to play a wide variety of lottery games including scratch-offs, Keno and electronic games.

He could be right.

In an Augusta Chronicle analysis of all lottery wins over $600 in Richmond County from 2009 through October this year, Bodie’s had the most – 250.

Lichelle Gibbs, who has been lottery manager at Bodie’s for more than 10 years, wasn’t surprised the store topped the list. About one-third of the store at the corner of 13th and Ellis streets is dedicated to lottery sales, with a counter running two machines for lotto drawings as well as an area with benches for people playing Keno and other lottery games. The store also has two vending machines that carry scratch-off tickets.

Gibbs said the owner chose to move all lottery operations away from the front of the store for the convenience of players and non-playing customers.

Drayton carried with him a worn, paperback book that helps players pick lucky combinations as he played a variety of games recently.

“I can’t say I’ve never won,” Drayton said about his success at the store. “I have won several times, just not in a while.”

The Georgia Lottery has more than 80 instant, or scratch-off, games that cost $1-$20 per play, as well as nine draw games, including Powerball, Fantasy 5, Cash 3 and Keno!

Two Hephzibah stores – Circle J and First Stop – located within a half-mile of each other on Tobacco Road came in at second and third for most wins. The two stores also rank in the top five for the most tickets sold, according to lottery officials.

“Evidently if you sell more tickets, you’re going to have more wins,” said Mainak Patel, owner of Circle J.

Both owners said a large number of their lottery customers come from Fort Gordon.

“People in this area play a lot of lottery,” said Vijay Patel, owner of First Stop.

Vijay Patel helps brand himself as a lucky store by posting two months worth of winning instant tickets on a wall by the counter. As a “lucky store” owner, he’s become mindful of customer rituals and superstitions when buying tickets.

“Some people don’t like you to tell them good luck because that’s unlucky,” he said. “So then they buy another ticket.”

Hot Spot, while ranked No. 4 on the list, has the most recent “big” win of $2 million from a Millionaire Jingle Jumbo Bucks instant ticket in February.

That winning ticket, as well as other winners, are displayed around the ticket counter in the small store at 3184 Skinner Mill Road. The store carries more than 60 instant ticket game choices.

Store manager Sam Dutton said the display of success has prompted more customers to buy tickets.

A sign outside the store tells customers that the store raised more than $240,000 for the HOPE Scholarship program and Pre-K last year.

Somewhere in Augusta was fifth on the list, almost solely on its Keno! wins. The sports bar at 2820 Washington Road had 184 wins, only three of which weren’t from Keno!

Owner Cindy Fisk said she was a little surprised to hear how the store compared in the county, but then again shouts of joy are fairly common.

“Most of our Keno! players are pretty lucky,” she said.

Top winning stores by payout
 StoreAddressTotal PayoutHighest payout
1.Smart Grocery3221 Wrightsboro$3,307,000$3 million
2.Hot Spot3184 Skinner Mill Road$2,349,000$2 million
3.Get It to Go3379 Milledgeville Road$1,095,000$550,000
4.First Stop Tobacco Road2763 Tobacco Road, Hephzibah$1,029,000$500,000
5.Discount Stop Food Mart545 Sand Bar Ferry Road$922,000$690,000
6.Ethan2940 Inwood Drive, Hephzibah$824,000$377,777
7.Ms. Carolyn’s2416 Windsor Spring Road$815,000$777,777
8.Bodie’s Shell304 13th St.$806,000$259,234
9.Corner Mini Mart635 Laney Walker Boulevard$746,000$701,000
10.DLS Gas Station3735 Mike Padgett Highway$724,000$500,000
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itsanotherday1 12/14/13 - 07:21 pm
“Evidently if you sell more

“Evidently if you sell more tickets, you’re going to have more wins,” said Mainak Patel, owner of Circle J.

Ya think??????

Fawkes 12/15/13 - 11:00 am
Notice how most of these are

Notice how most of these are in or close to the ghetto.

Dixieman 12/15/13 - 11:44 am
Statistical ignorance

1. Of course, the more tickets you sell the more winners you will have! (Kudos to itsanotherday1 for picking up on this.)
2. Lotteries are a tax on stupidity. I am thankful for them because without them my personal income taxes would be higher. The payouts are lower than most casino games.
3. Want to make money off gambling? Stay home, take your ticket money and buy stock in casinos. Ever heard of a casino going bankrupt? Then you'll be on the right side of the odds.

itsanotherday1 12/15/13 - 12:10 pm
Tax on the stupid?

Somewhat true, as most don't understand the long odds. Worse though, it is a tax on wishful and desperate low income people, who can hardly afford to throw money away.

I have friends who play Keno all the time, but they enjoy passing the time and can afford it. They will hit a couple of hundred here and there, so I suspect they break close to even; which basically allows them to have free or low cost entertainment.

**I will throw down $5 or $10 from time to time when the pots get interesting, but I can afford it. I also put two kids through college on Hope, so I feel like I'm playing for free; I will not put back in what it saved me in a lifetime.

** Funny isn't it. People like me turn our noses up at a $10 million pot as if that wouldn't be enough to set me up for the rest of my life. Got to be $100 million or more, LOL.

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