There is an old belief that if you want to be a lottery jackpot winner, then you need to buy your tickets from a rural retailer in a town that no one has ever heard of. As a lottery player myself, I was a believer in this not so urban myth, that is until I heard of the “The Lucky Mile”. When I myself won a small prize from two of these lucky retailers, I became an absolute believer. The Lucky Mile is a stretch of Roswell Road that runs from Northridge Drive to Dunwoody Place and it consists of several retailers that have a habit of selling some very lucky Georgia Lottery scratch off tickets.
The Lucky Mile is a nickname that people who live near these retailers have dubbed this stretch of Roswell Road. I first became aware of the area when a friend went on a lucky streak. For weeks, he would go out of his way to buy tickets in this area and he was winning from $200 – $500 every time he bought tickets. Then one day in 2012 he scratched off a jackpot winner of $225,000. I contacted the Georgia Lottery office to see if they could indeed confirm that this area is as lucky as the locals say, but they informed me that they don’t keep records of which stores sell winning scratch off tickets. So, I decided to go to the retailers themselves to see just how lucky these spots are.
My first stop was the site of my friend Mike’s $225,000 payday. I asked an employee at Citgo about the sales of winners and he was unaware, but some of the customers were well aware of the lucky streak at this stop. Shantel Jones told me that in 2011 she won $10,000 just weeks before she was laid off from her job. She stated that not only had she won, but a friend had also won a $5,000 jackpot from this store. Another patron however, told me that if I wanted the truly lucky spot I was at the wrong place. He directed me to the Shell station at the corner of Roswell Road and Northridge Road. At the Shell station, I met Juanita Gonzalez who told me that her Roswell neighbor had won $25,000 from the Shell station. Another customer Blake Johnson told me that his out of town cousin won $10,000 from the Exxon that is directly across the street from the Shell station. He went on further to tell me that they went to Tony’s Sport’s bar which is directly in the middle of “The Lucky Mile” and they “won enough to pay for the bar tab and my cousin’s trip.” He went on to tell me “I don’t buy tickets if it ain’t from over here.”
I felt that from the conversations that I had at the gas stations, that I had enough from this article and went inside the Kroger to do some shopping. I mentioned what I was working on to a couple of employees and got a load more. Due to the fact that these were Kroger employees that were on the clock during these discussions, I won’t divulge their names, but they were very knowledgeable about the lucky streaks at the gas stations. They went on to tell me that the local package stores in the areas have also been known to sell some life changers.
While talking to a customer in the Kroger parking lot, a customer did stop by and told me that she has played on a regular basis for more than 10 years, she hasn’t experienced any luck. When I asked her why she continued to play, she told me because the lottery helped pay for her college degree. This brought everything full circle for me. While my friend Mike, Shantel and others have had big winnings playing the Georgia Lottery, it’s the recipients of the educational benefits that are the real jackpot winners in this game of chance. With that said, I think I’ll go buy a ticket or two!
Brian Hopkins is an award-winning writer who has lived in the Atlanta area for over 20 years. Brian has covered sports, finance, and local topics and can be followed on [email protected]