Tap into some extra lottery "luck" around Houston

April 30, 2012 8:17:37 AM PDT
Last month's record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot has people across the country thinking about their chances of striking it rich.

Some folks in Houston believe they have tapped in to some extra lottery luck.

The frenzy that surrounded the $600 million Mega Millions jackpot this March brought hundreds, if not thousands, of people to Rudy's Stop and Shop in Rosenberg.

Why here? Because this store has a well-earned reputation

"I think this is a lucky store," lottery winner Demetrio Martinez said.

"I just think this is a blessed store," lottery winner Eric Edmunds said.

There is no doubt that Rudy's players have won big bucks, but the Mega Millions hopefuls may be playing the wrong game.

If luck does run through the store, it stops at the scratch-off wall.

"How much did you win?" we asked winner Ola Agoro.

"Just $50," Agoro said.

"What is the most you have won from a scratch-off here?" we asked Edmunds.

"$500," he told us.

Herbert Craft has seen the luck as well.

"I won $500 here," he said. "My sister has won $500 [and] $1,000."

For the faithful, the proof is on the wall at Rudy's Stop and Shop in photos of scratch-off winners with tickets worth $100, $200, $500 and more.

"It's a lucky store," winner Lloyd Haynes said.

Haynes won $1 million from a Rudy's scratch-off.

"I won the big one, that's what counts," he said.

In 2010, Rudy's was the No. 1 spot in the state for scratch-off winners of $1,000 or more.

Other area stores were lucky in 2010 lucky, too. They include: The Super K Food Store in Humble with 15 different $1,000 winners; Your C Store in La Grange with 15 $1,000 winners; Shop 'N Go on Alemda with 12 $1,000 winners; and Super K Corner Store on San Felipe with 11 $1,000 winners.

But those stores pale in comparison to Rudy's. It had 38 winners of $1,000 or more during 2010, according to the Texas Lottery Commission.

So is there something lucky about Rudy's? Not everyone is convinced.

"It's completely random. It has nothing to do with the store," Jeff Morgan said.

Morgan is a math professor at the University of Houston. He says there are numbers behind the magic.

Rudy's sold 620,000 scratch-off tickets in 2010 -- by far, the state's single largest seller of scratch-offs. That's why Rudy's seems lucky, Morgan said.

"That doesn't mean that people who go into Rudy's have a better chance of winning. It just means that Rudy's will sell more winners simply because they are selling so many more tickets," Morgan said.

To put it another way:

"If you are drinking from a bottle with a worm in the bottom," Morgan said. "If you take more swallows, you got a better chance of swallowing that worm."

But at Rudy's, the winners -- and even the losers -- say the only number that matters is the prize amount.


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