I was in an On the Run convenience store (attached to Esso gas stations) recently and was treated to a rare symphony of OLG’s signature cheery music signifying a winning ticket was being processed.
In this case it was apparently one of those lottery ‘professionals’ with a fistful of winners because the chimes were pealing repeatedly and his business was diverting the rest of us to the second cash so we could satisfy our own lottery urge.
I wanted to ask the gentleman what his technique was but the store was busy and his ticket haul didn’t stop before I had to go on my merry way. If his lottery winning strategy was anything like what I’ve seen from other individuals, it probably consisted of spending hundreds of dollars per week and enjoying modest success in bunches. I mean really, if he was a millionaire (or even a ‘hundred-thousandaire’) would he be standing in line at an On the Run convenience store to show off his fabulous wealth?
I’ve started tracking my winnings and losings since I cooked up the idea for this blog and noted the stores I use as well. My old Mac’s and Quickie’s locations seem to have gone cold and, on a whim, I veered off into gas station territory to see if it would change my luck.
On the Run has been the only store recently to offer me any prizes but of course they continue to be mostly of the “free ticket” variety. (Either literally, in the case of a 6/49 ticket, or virtually in the case of $2-$5 tickets that return you $2-$5. What else do you do with a $5 winner but trade it in for another, inevitably unsuccessful, ticket of the same denomination?).
Unlike real estate, lottery tickets do not increase in value with location. Scattered among Ontario’s 9700 retail outlets, millions of useless instant tickets lie in heaps waiting for us to toss loose change or small bills at an infinitesimal chance of multiplying our money. With draw-based lotteries (e.g. 6/49) we actually generate the useless tickets with quick picks or inspired selections but the results are the same. It matters not one whit what machine we use.
Somewhat ironically, it turns out On the Run is owned by the same company that owns Mac’s Milk stores. Canada’s own Alimentation Couche-Tard, the world’s second largest operator of convenience stores, purchased the On the Run brand from ExxonMobil in 2009. Since Quickies Convenience Stores are an Ottawa-based chain we Ontarians should be truly proud our lottery dollars are circulating right here at home!
Circulating, flushing, same thing. In June I spent $107 and generated $57 in winnings.So far in July I am ahead of that pace and doing worse on the ‘up-side’.
I have no intention of going professional and wasting thousands of dollars on tickets but on the other hand, like millions of my fellow sufferers, I can’t imagine I’ll quit contributing to the greater good any time soon!
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