CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – When you buy a lottery ticket in western Massachusetts do you have a fair chance to win? The 22News I-Team discovered if there really is an eastern Massachusetts bias.
It’s a dollar and a dream, but is that dream a reality if you buy a lottery ticket in western Massachusetts? The perception is that eastern Massachusetts stores sell most of the grand prizes.
“I look online a lot and I see all the winners are never here. Once in awhile you might see Chicopee, Westfield not like there,” said Ludlow’s Dolly Armstrong.
The 22News I-Team went to lottery headquarters in Braintree to dig deeper into their numbers. Beth Bresnahan is the executive director of the Massachusetts lottery.
(There’s a perception that people in Western Mass. don’t win as much as the rest of the state, is that the case?)
“No, it’s not the case at all. The prizes claimed in western Mass. are pretty consistent to what the sales are each fiscal year,” said Bresnahan.
There’s just more tickets being sold in the rest of the state. The grand prize winners reflect this very closely.
From July 2010 through June 2013, The lottery sold close to $14 billion worth of tickets. $1.6 billion of those tickets were sold in western Massachusetts.
So western Massachusetts accounted for 11.8% of sales. As for winners, western Massachusetts stores sold 10% of grand prize winners and 11.5% of $1 million or more instant ticket winners.
see which stores in western Massachusetts have sold grand prize winning tickets in the last three fiscal years (July 2010 – June 2013):
(Does the lottery know ahead of time where these winning tickets are going?)
“No, it’s completely random, we need to do that, and that’s an industry standard and no one at the lottery knows where the winning tickets are,” said Bresnahan.
From the records we obtained from the lottery, the Raja Mart in Westfield has sold more grand prize winners than any other store in western Massachusetts.
(What is the secret to your success?)
“I think my store is a lucky store,” said Raja Bashiel, who has owned the Raja Mart for 17 years.
Marschall Lind usually plays at the Country Trading Post in Chicopee, he told 22News he knows the odds, but hopes his dream one day comes true.
“I come play my Mass Cash everyday, sometimes I buy a couple of scratch tickets, I don’t buy much, my wife thinks I buy too much, but I don’t,” said Lind.