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Powerball gives some love to convenience stores in two states

November 29, 2012|By Michael Muskal | This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.

Stores in suburban Phoenix and Dearborn, Mo., celebrated their good fortune Thursday with the promise of bonuses for selling the winning tickets in the record Powerball jackpot.

“Suddenly the phone can’t stop ringing, people are coming in and it’s pretty exciting,” Bob Chebat, the manager of a Four Sons convenience store in suburban Phoenix, said by telephone to the Los Angeles Times. “We’ve been bombarded by telephone calls.”

Chebat said he had no idea who purchased the winning ticket, one of two that get to split the $587.5-million jackpot, a record for the Powerball and the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history. That works out to about $294 million per ticket, neither of which has been presented to officials for redemption.

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The store will receive a bonus of $25,000 from Arizona lottery officials, but Chebat said it was unclear whether he would receive any of it. "We’ll hear from the company about what will happen,” he said.

It is not uncommon for the winner to also tip the seller, especially if the jackpot is large.

“People always promise things when they buy the ticket,” Chebat said. “When there is a large jackpot, they’ll tell us, ‘If I win, I’ll shove something your way,’” he said. “They promise but we’ll wait to see.”

At a televised news conference Thursday, Arizona Lottery officials said their winning ticket was sold at a convenience store in suburban Phoenix. No one has come forward to claim that prize, either.

The retailer will get a $25,000 bonus for selling the ticket, which like all such tickets can be owned by any number of people.

The cash value of the total jackpot is $384.7 million before taxes, or about $192 million per ticket. The lower amount would be paid if the winners chose to take their good fortune in one immediate lump sum.

Players have 180 days to present the winning tickets to state officials.

[For the record, 7:52 a.m., Nov. 30: An earlier version of this post incorrectly described Bob Chebat as the manager of a Missouri store. His store is in Arizona. Also, his store will receive a $25,000 bonus from Arizona lottery officials, not $50,000 from Missouri officials.]

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