by Christopher Yip
There’s something about the Westside Confectionary in Normanview that sets it apart from other corner stores: it’s got a golden track record in the lottery.
Jody Lewis has worked behind various store counters for 15 years. Two years ago, in Westside’s first year of business, he sold the winning million-dollar ticket to Wayne Kozak.
This month, Chris Lovely bought a LOTTO MAX ticket and won $100,000.
On Oct. 7, Lovely checked his LOTTO 6/49 and LOTTO MAX tickets on the self-serve counter as usual. A regular at Westside, he was happy to have won $12 from his 6/49 ticket. However, when he looked at his MAX number, he did a double-take.
“I thought that the self-checker was broken,” said Lovely in a media statement. He took his ticket stub to the counter, where Lewis and his coworkers checked the winning number. After verifying, they told Lovely the good news.
According to Lewis, over a thousand patrons come through Westside Confectionary every day. About 30 per cent of that number buys lottery tickets. Westside is the only convenience store in an eight-block radius in the neighborhood.
“Generally lottery tickets are pretty strong around here. We’re 20th (highest selling) in the province,” Lewis said.
Lewis has seen no difference in lottery sales in recent years, despite the changing economy, .
“People are pretty loyal to what they buy, and the way they play certain things when they come. So they know what they want before they even get here.”
“Once they put a reader board outside, which they generally do after somebody wins big at this store, we see a spike in sales, ‘cause you’re the lucky store,” said Lewis.
“When we sold the million-dollar ticket, there were people coming from the east end to buy their tickets here. And you’re going, “That’s just a random number!” But that’s just how people perceive it.”
Tickets fly off the counter when the LOTTO MAX goes up to its $50 million draw.
After observing Lovely’s reaction to the winning ticket, Lewis can understand why.
“He was one happy dude,” chuckled Lewis.