The Mega Millions jackpot has risen over $500 million, but it isn’t just lottery hopefuls who are getting lucky as lottery fever sweeps the nation. HUNTER WILLIAMS/STAFF

Springfield retailers cash in as Mega Millions jackpot grows

Lottery hopefuls around Springfield aren’t the only ones trying to cash in as the Mega Millions jackpot continues its climb — Springfield retailers are getting lucky, too.

The interstate lottery’s jackpot is now more than $502 million as no jackpot-winning ticket was sold for the Tuesday, March 27, drawing. The jackpot, which ranks as the 10th largest top prize in the game’s history, has sent the country into another lottery frenzy with many purchasing tickets for their chance to win on Friday, March 30.

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But with the increase in lottery ticket sales, businesses have seen an increase in overall sales in their stores. Gary Singh, the operations manager at the Sunshine Oil on St. Paris Road, said the gas station has seen an uptick in sales just from people coming in to buy tickets.

“We’ve actually been packed today,” he said. “We haven’t had time to stop.”

The increase in foot traffic has made it necessary to bring in more help to assist customers, Singh said. The management team for the station is usually prepared to bring in more help when lotteries like Mega Million and Powerball have jackpots of $500 million or higher, he said.

“We have three employees right now because of the jackpot,” Singh said. “The lines get backed up inside the store.”

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Sales of various items, like beer and soft drinks, increase because of the frenzy, he said, but most people are focused on the lottery tickets.

“People usually buy like $50 or $20 worth of tickets,” Singh said. “We have some $1 tickets, but most people want to go big.”

He said he’s happy about the increase in workload and is hopeful someone from Springfield will win.

“It’s good for the business, it’s good for everybody,” Singh said. “Maybe we’ll have a winner in Springfield. We haven’t had one yet but hopefully, this is it.”

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