We Sold A Winner

Since 2009, I have been following the trail of winning jackpot lottery tickets from $1 million to as much as $415 million back to the family stores where the ticket was sold. But rather than the winners, I focus on the people and places caught in the wake of a sum of money most say “would solve all their problems.” 

Against a back drop of lottery tickets and family mementoes, owners, clerks and customers engage in an affectionate familial banter. Regulars stop in for conversation or counsel, and their needs are often anticipated before they even reach the counter.

Mom and pop convenience and liquor stores are the largest retailers of lottery tickets across the country. Rather than raise taxes on the top one percent, legislators in forty-four states depend on lottery revenue to prop up shrinking state budgets. I meet many hard working families caught up in the lottery conundrum on both sides of the counter. I seek to present an alternate view of the widening wealth inequality at the root of our divided country.