Good luck finding a lucky buckeye in Ohio until fall.
Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon says it has the few buckeyes that remain.
The racino is looking for more, but the likelihood of finding more buckeyes isn’t good.
“We have essentially bought out all the buckeyes,” said Jen Swope, Miami Valley Gaming’s director of marketing. “We just recently bought up the rest of the buckeyes in this region. We’ve created a buckeye shortage.”
Miami Valley Gaming only has about 1,700 buckeyes left.
Located between Cincinnati and Dayton off I-75 at Exit 29, Miami Valley Gaming has given away 40,000 buckeyes since it opened Dec. 12.
Swope said a new supply of buckeyes isn’t coming down the pipeline.
“They are not going to have another harvest until closer to the fall,” Swope said of tree farmers.
Liz Kramer of Siebenthaler’s, a Dayton area garden and landscaping company with multiple locations, said the buckeye shortage is a bit of a fluke.
The buckeyes Miami Valley Gaming has given away were likely kept in cold storage, she said.
“I can understand how they would exhaust the supply,” she said. “Those ripened last year; somebody had to store them.”
Kramer said there is no reason for buckeye lovers to panic.
“They just handed out one fall’s worth of nuts,” she said. “That has no effect on the number of trees in the state or anything like that.”
The Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) tree is much beloved in the state.
The Ohio legislature designated it the state tree in 1953.
According to folklore, one of the nuts in your pocket brings good luck.
The buckeye gives Ohio State University its nickname. The university’s mascot is famously Brutus Buckeye.
High in fat, humans do not eat buckeyes, but squirrels and other animals love to munch on them.
At Miami Valley Gaming, Swope said the buckeye giveaway has been extremely successful. Customers simply took a buckeye as a welcoming gift.
The company plans to be more selective on how it distributes the remaining buckeyes.
The racino’s promotion is inspired by its Solid Gold Buckeye drawings each Saturday for 14-karat solid-gold buckeyes.