Locals hope to make it big with the Lottery during the pandemic

Rise in alcohol and tobacco sales to deal with the stress of Covid-19

Jacksonville, FL. — Action News Jax reported earlier this year that pandemic is leading to a rise in alcohol and tobacco sales to deal with the stress of Covid-19.

Now there are multiple reports out saying that lottery ticket sales are now starting to trickle up in many states.

Action News Jax Alicia Tarancon reports from Loretto Road in Mandarin.

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She reports that lot of people are hoping to make it big during the pandemic.

The Welcome Food Stores on Loretto Road is known as the Little Lucky store and inside you can see why. They’ve had a number of winning lottery tickets everything from a free ticket to one million dollars.

Chuck Richardson tells me the little lucky store is a neighborhood favorite and that’s because he says it’s lucky.

“They win, I mean I come in I get a running streak of $3, $5, $15 dollars. I’ve seen men and women get $500 dollars,” Richardson said.

On Monday morning he decided to try out his luck.

“I got fantasy 5 Lotto, Powerball and I always do the Easy Match because you might win right then and that kind of keeps a smile on your face,” Richardson said.

Our sister station in Memphis Tennessee did a little deeper digging.

They found that anxiety about Covid-19 caused people to buy more alcohol, tobacco and even play the lottery.

Lottery sales were up from the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

Data showed a 20 percent increase in 2020 from March 24th to May compared to 2019.

The rise in sales happened about the same time when states and local governments began closing non-essential businesses.

We’ve reached out to Florida’s Department of Revenue and are expecting to hear back today.

Richardson told me so far his buying habits have stayed the same during the pandemic but that doesn’t mean he’s not hoping to close out 2020 with a win.

"If I ever do hit the big money, yippee Skippy I’ll go nuts but I do believe it will be pretty much three buck chuck for a while now. What can I say? He said.

I’ve reached out to the Florida Lottery to find out which store has sold the most winning tickets and if it’s seen a rise in lottery tickets here in Florida because of COVID-19.

We’re still waiting to hear back.