A Lotta Lotto

C-stores will be paying attention to the Mega Millions jackpot drawing tonight.

August 04, 2023

The Mega Millions jackpot has reached $1.25 billion for the drawing tonight, August 4. If this prize is won in its entirety, it will be the fourth largest prize in Mega Millions history, according to the Mega Millions website.

The largest jackpot in U.S. history was a Powerball jackpot of $2.04 billion in November 2022, and the largest Mega Millions jackpot was $1.54 billion in October 2018.

Lottery tickets are sold at approximately 216,000 retail locations. Of the country’s 150,174 convenience stores, an estimated 80%—approximately 120,000 c-stores—sell lottery tickets, meaning that convenience stores are the top retail channel for lottery sales. Sales of lottery tickets peak at the beginning of the evening rush hour.

Five states do not have a lottery: Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, Nevada and Alabama. Total U.S. lottery sales were $107.9 billion 2022. New York ($10.36 billion) had the most lottery sales in 2022 followed by Florida ($9.32 billion) and California ($8.87 billion). Per capita, Massachusetts has the highest lottery sales.

Stores that sell winning tickets receive bonus commissions, and the size of these large jackpot bonuses vary by state. In some states, these bonuses are capped at a certain level (as low as $10,000), while in other states they are a percentage of the total payout, as much as 1%. In 2022, the average convenience store earned $2,355 per month in operating income from lottery, which includes commissions and bonuses.

The Pride Stores in Massachusetts gave its $50,000 commission from a 2017 jackpot to charities and nonprofits, including giving more than 20 teachers $1,000 checks to buy classroom supplies. Listen to the story on the Convenience Matters podcast here.

Stores that sell the winning ticket often see an increase in customer traffic for weeks to months after selling the drawing because of the mystique and fortune of “the lucky store.”

To share in the excitement of the jackpot on Friday, Krispy Kreme is extending its Mega Glaze Days. Between August 4 and 5 customers who show employees at Krispy Kreme any lottery ticket can get one free glazed donut while supplies last.