Lottery frenzy in overdrive at lucky Elizabethtown store

Elizabethtown store sees lottery frenzy

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Do you have your ticket yet? Or maybe it’s tickets, now that the Mega Millions jackpot is estimated at a whopping $970 million and the Powerball jackpot is at $430 million.

It’s creating a lotto frenzy across WAVE Country, especially at one Elizabethtown store where one woman just became a new millionaire.

The store is the Neighborhood Market on West Dixie in Elizabethtown where one customer won $1 million by matching five numbers on a Mega Millions ticket. The normal brisk lottery sales there are booming now.

Store owner Bharat Patel was at a party for his brother in Lexington when he heard the news.

Store owner Bharat Patel
Store owner Bharat Patel (WAVE 3 News)

“Somebody in E-town won the Mega Millions,” he remembered.

But Patel had no clue it was one of his customers who just got richer, until he was notified by Kentucky Lottery officials a couple days later.

“First thing I did? I called my wife,” he said.

Next call? His store manager, Tiffany Charfauros.

“Actually I was asleep when Bharat called me," Charfauros said. "He was like I just want to let you know the lottery company called. I’m like, what? And he says if you want to come over here, we’re going to check the cameras!”

They did, and there she was. Valued customer and local mom Ashley Eggen, buying that winning ticket with the first five numbers.

Her win was not a bad pay day for the store either. They got a $10,000 bonus.

“I wish she had hit the whole thing,” Patel said.

Patel hit another kind of jackpot with word spreading that his store is lucky. Folks dreaming big for the two big jackpots want to buy their tickets there.

Gary Newton, an E-town lottery player, said he wasn’t worried about winning too much money, like nearly $1 billion.

“Well, I’d like to have that problem,” he laughed.

Player Rodney Jones said he already has the winner and is ready to become anonymous.

“If I hit, I don’t want no problems,” he said after buying his ticket.

It’s only $2 for everyone to fantasize about what could be. And for a successful lottery retailer, it brings a new strategy.

“I’m thinking about raising my gas prices so we have more lottery business,” Patel joked.

Will the store get lucky again? We’ll find out during Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing and Saturday night’s Powerball drawing.

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