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Johnston Store Scores Big Sales In Lottery Tickets

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FOUR OAKS, N.C. — The North Carolina Lottery has sold more than $51 million worth of tickets since the games began two weeks ago. Local vendors have said sales are strong, but a small Johnston County store is out-selling most stores in the state.

Lottery officials said Dunn's Gas & Grocery in Four Oaks is the top-selling store in the Triangle area, as well as the fifth best in the state. Owner Dallas Johnson said his stor gets about 150 more customers a day, now. So how does that happen?

"Other than providing good service when it's needed, I don't have a clue," Johnson said.

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    Lottery officials said that they were surprised that such a rural store would be such a big seller. It helps that the store is only about a mile from Interstate 95, but it also has some unique features that shoppers can't get everywhere -- like a bonus prize: the official store hat.

    "If they're a $50 winner, they get a hat," said Johnson, who has already handed out 48 hats and just ordered 100 more.

    The store has a designated scratch-off area and a "Winners Wall of Fame." So far, the top prize awarded at the store is $210.

    "We haven't had big winners, but we've had a lot of $50s and $20s and few $100s," Johnson said.

    Most customers said they go to Dunn's Gas for the people. It is a place where the owners help work the register and know many people by name.

    Traci Wynn buys at least one ticket there every day.

    "It's just down-home, and people have been coming here all their lives," said Traci Wynn, who buys at least one ticket there every day. "So now, we're going to give them our business with the lottery."

    Lottery officials said that service, and even the hats, likely play a role in the success at Dunn's Gas. The state plans to add Powerball tickets to their offerings late next month.


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