Lottery tickets remain in demand

Lottery tickets remain in demand

Lottery tickets remain in demand

Casinos are known for their poker and blackjack tables and slot machines, but these are not the only ways gamblers play for money.

Area convenient stores sell a number of lottery and Powerball tickets to out-of-town customers and people who are just feeling lucky.

Kum & Go, located on Range Line Road, receive a number of customers who spend anywhere from $50 to $500 on lottery and Powerball tickets.

“We have a lot of people who come in from Oklahoma to buy lottery tickets,” said Greg Long, sales manager.

Long said their revenue increases when the Powerball amount increases.

“There is one customer who will come in and spend $500 in one sitting when the Powerball is up to $100 million,” Long said.

Long said on the weekend the store averages about $700 to $1,000 in lottery ticket sales and during the week about $1,000 to $1,500.

“We have some customers who come in and spend their last dime, but then there are others who are pretty smart about it,” he said.

Long said he knows of five customers who come in about four to five times a week to play the lottery but they are rarely win.

“The repeat customers come in and scratch tickets until they leave with nothing at all,” he said.

Kum & Go is not the only location receiving customers who want to buy lottery and Powerball tickets. Fastrip, located behind the residence halls at Missouri Southern, has customers who range from college age to the elderly.

Michael Sneary, manager of Fastrip, said their ticket sales vary from day to day. Some days it may only be $50, and on other days it may be $250.

He said rich people and poor people alike purchase lottery and Powerball tickets

“We had a wealthy lady come in and spend about $150 on lottery tickets,” Sneary said.

Of the total lottery ticket sale numbers, Southern students make up about 10 percent.

One customer admits he is addicted and has no plans to stop.

Warren Barnes, city of Joplin animal control, and a frequent customer of Fastrip, said he has been gambling since he was 15 years old.

“At this point I would have to say gambling is an addiction for me,” Barnes said.

Barnes said he goes Kansas City to gamble about once every six months and plays Pick 3 and Pick 4 often at Fastrip.

“I used to buy lottery tickets on Wednesday and Saturday, and then I began playing something different,” he said.

Barnes said he went to Kansas City and won $1,000 in a weekend.

He said winning keeps him going back.

Chris Caceres, a former gambler, said he played Pick 3 and Pick 4 every day, but does not anymore because it became to expensive.

“There is a professional gambler who said gambling games are not meant for you to depend upon them, so therefore you will end up losing,” Caceres said.

He said his advice to any gambler is to never bet more than he or she can afford.