The California Lottery was created by ballot measure Proposition 37, approved by 58% of voters on November 6, 1984. Current law (Assembly Bill 142, passed in 2010), limits administrative expenses of the Lottery to 13% of sales, with 87% of sales going back in the form of prized and contributions to education.
Since inception in 1985 through the California Lottery's most currently issued financial report as of June 30, 2015, the Lottery has sold $85.1 billion, contributed close to $29.4 billion to schools, paid $45.9 billion to Lottery winners and another $5.6 million as compensation to retailers.
What happens if you win a big Lottery prize? Your name is public record, as is the name and location of the retailer that sold you the winning ticket, the date you won and of course, the amount. For most Lottery draw games, you have 180 days to claim your prize; however, if you win the Powerball or Mega Millions, you have a year to claim your prize. You will receive your first (or in most cases, only) check with your prize winnings six to eight weeks from claiming your prize.
So how do you win "a big one?" I wish I had the answer. One idea to ponder is to pursue purchasing tickets at retailers that seem to have the winning touch.
The Lottery has a "Lucky Retailers" database that shows, of its 22,000 retail locations, over 4,000 retailers considered "lucky." Lucky is defined as, within the last calendar year, either 1) sold at least one winning ticket of $100,000 or more; 2) paid out an average of 400 or more winning tickets per week or 3) paid out an average of $4,000 or more of winning tickets each week. You can access this searchable list at www.calottery.com/Lucky-Retailers.
What most interests me is retailers in Ventura County that meet parameter #1; selling at least one $100,000+ ticket over the previous calendar year. So let's take a look at which local retailers meet that parameter as of late November 2016. It is actually quite a short list!
- Hi-Time Liquor, 140 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks
- 7-Eleven, 609 Rancho Conejo Blvd, Thousand Oaks
- Mobil, 855 N. Wendy Drive, Newbury Park
- 7-Eleven, 1840 Cochran Street, Simi Valley
- Simi Valley Smoke Shop, 2902 Cochran Street, Simi Valley
- 76 Station, 2605 Stearns Street, Simi Valley
- Shell Station, 1604 Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo
- Log Cabin Liquor, 2457 Alameda Avenue, Ventura
- Pat Holden Liquor, 860 South A Street, Oxnard
- Goode's Liquor, 1271 Saviers Road, Oxnard
- 7-Eleven, 2201 E. Gonzales Road, Oxnard
- Superior Grocers, 2401 Saviers Road, Oxnard
That's it! Pretty short list!
Prior to the "Lucky Retailers" program, here are Ventura County area retail locations that sold at least two winning tickets of $1 MILLION or more from 1985 to 2013:
- Allan's Market Wine & Lotto, 2521 N. Ventura Road, Port Hueneme (This is the only retail location in the entire state of California during this time frame that sold SIX winning $1 million or more Lottery tickets!)
- 7-Eleven, 2201 E. Channel Islands Blvd, Oxnard (3 winning tickets)
And there you have it! Learn more about the California Lottery at www.calottery.com.