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Lottery hopefuls are flocking to the ‘lucky’ California store as a $1 billion jackpot looms – US News News – Report by AFR

The odds of winning this week’s Bonanza lottery prize in the US are less than one in 300 million – but one “lucky” grocery store outside of Los Angeles is already counting its winnings.

A sign above the counter of the otherwise unremarkable store in Chino Hills, California, proclaims itself the “WORLD’S LUCKIEST 7-ELEF,” six years after he sold a ticket for the biggest jackpot in US lottery history.

With the nationwide Mega Millions prize surpassing $1 billion again, customers from far and wide lined up Thursday, hoping for lightning strikes twice.

“This is the lucky shop, so I hope it will be lucky for me too,” said Vish Josai.

The current price for Friday night’s draw is $1.02 billion.

Back in January 2016, a customer bought a winning ticket from the store, splitting the approximately $1.6 billion with two other lucky ones who also matched the six numbers elsewhere in the country.

For shopkeeper Balbir Atwal, who has owned the shop for nearly three decades, the 2016 win marked a turning point.

“Every time the jackpot goes up, a lot of my neighbors come over” to buy tickets, Atwal said.

“Even people from other cities come here — people even come from Las Vegas to play here.”

“A lot of people go to Disneyland, and they (also) come here just to see this place,” he added, referring to the massive theme park and resort just 20 miles from his store.

Customers who came specifically to buy lottery tickets, as a rule, also buy other goods, which increases his profits.

Despite his store’s track record of giving away mega prizes, the digital sign that displays the current jackpot doesn’t have enough numbers to handle it.

It is “stuck” at $999 million.

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