Apr 23, 2006, 10:24 am
A steady stream of customers has been coming through the Cumberland Farms store in Port St. Lucie, Florida, buying potato chips and gum — and trading rumors.
The store was identified early Thursday as the location where one of two winning tickets was sold in Wednesday's $82 million Florida Lotto drawing.
"Everybody's been talking about it," Yesenia Quevedo, 18, a customer-service associate, said. "A lot of people have asked for the Lotto."
No one has presented a winning ticket, said Alfred Bea, communications manager for the Florida Lottery.
Around the Cumberland Farms store, which shares a small plaza with a Chinese restaurant and a pharmacy, that hasn't stopped the rumors.
Merchants said they'd heard the winner was an employee who'd called in sick at a business on U.S. 1 in Port St. Lucie, but that turned out to be false when colleagues reached the woman.
"I just hoped it would be someone that needs it. Not someone who already has money," said Keri Frosch, 26, a customer-service associate at the store. "I hope it's one of our regular customers that comes in every day and really tries hard to win."
The winning numbers from Wednesday's drawing were: 12-13-17-27-32-36.
Bea said the Cumberland Farms owner is expected to receive $30,000 as a retailer bonus for selling the jackpot ticket.
Frosch, who has worked at the business since December, said the store sold two or three winning Fantasy Five tickets in the past, but this is the first six-number winning ticket purchased there.
"It's very exciting," she said.
Regular customer Douglas Abbuhl, 50, said the store manager told him Thursday morning that Lady Luck had smiled on the convenience store near his house.
"If I won that they'd probably bury me from the shock," he said. "I couldn't imagine what I'd do with $82 million."
Frosch said lottery sales on Wednesday were brisk.
"We had lines out the door [Wednesday] night waiting for tickets," she said. "We had to call in another employee to come in so we could assist all the customers."
Each ticket holder could receive $1.46 million each year for 30 years if he or she choose an annuity type payout, Bea said. Each ticket holder could get about $23 million by choosing a lump sum payout.
The second winning ticket was sold at a Circle K in Lady Lake. Both were quick-pick tickets.
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