We Sold A Winner

I photograph family run convenience stores and marketplaces across the country, focusing on the people and places left in the wake of a winning lottery jackpot.

Legislators in forty-four states foster the idea that buying lottery tickets supports education, and other essential community benefits. After selling a winner stores become known as lucky, drawing new customers from surrounding communities. They ask owners to ‘pick them a winner’ while buying a loaf of bread, a quart of milk, or a pack of cigarettes.

Despite working 12-15 hour days, financial security remains tenuous for small shop owners, their families and many regular players. Seduced by media images of ebullient winners holding a large facsimile check, lottery fortunes have come to represent hope for financial freedom. I seek to evoke empathy for the resilient workers, whose elusive American dream supports community and keeps the lottery economy in business.