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No $50K bonus for Washington retailer who sold winning lottery ticket

Washington LotteryWashington Lottery: No $50K bonus for Washington retailer who sold winning lottery ticket
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If you're Nirbhai Singh, 36, who started out delivering for Pizza Hut and now owns a couple of 7-Elevens, what else can you do but be philosophical about losing out on $50,000?

It was his West Seattle store at 9200 35th Ave. S.W. that sold the winning $157 million ticket in Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot.

The winner has yet to come forward.

As for Singh, whom everybody calls "Sonny," until last year his store would have gotten a $50,000 bonus for selling a winning Powerball or Mega Millions ticket.

Lots of states have such bonuses as a way to entice stores to participate.

But last year, in wrangling out a budget, the Washington Legislature decided that, hey, we can increase revenue by reducing commissions to stores selling lottery tickets.

The state got rid of all bonuses, including 1 percent for jackpots in the state Lotto and Hit 5. In Fiscal 2015 that had amounted to $468,000, spread among 57 retailers.

So. Time to be philosophical.

"That's OK. What can I do?" says Sonny. "It's the law. It's not just something done to me."

Still.

"It'd have been nice to wake up and get $50,000," he says.

His family is from India, and he's worked hard to own those two 7-Elevens. The pizza delivery, then driving for a limo service, getting help from his parents to buy his first franchise, putting in the hours at the store.

Sonny says he had to explain to his employees that he really wasn't getting a bonus that could possibly be shared with them.

"They were wondering," says Sonny.

An association that represents independent grocers in this state says its 385 members "are pretty angry" about the end of bonuses.

"This happened right at the tail end of the last session. There was never a bill or any discussion," says Jan Gee, head of the Washington Food Industry Association. "It was one of those things they did behind closed doors."

The amorphous legislative staff decided it needed $12 million more from the lottery.

So gone were the big bonuses to stores, gone were commissions for selling jackpot tickets in the state Lotto and in Hit 5.

And decreased from 6 percent to 5 percent were commissions for selling tickets to individual state games, and decreased from 7 percent to 5 percent were commissions for selling tickets for multi-state games.

"It's discouraging when this happens," says Gee.

There weren't many big bonuses such as the $50,000 that would have been given to Sonny.

But when it happened, says Gee, "A small, family-owned type store could buy a new refrigeration unit, or a new oven for the bakery."

The Washington Lottery says it is planning to celebrate Sonny's 7-Eleven selling the winning $157 million ticket with a media event and some big signs for his store.

See, Sonny?

Win-win.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Seattle Times

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43 comments. Last comment 8 months ago by txwinr.
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Simpsonville
United States
Member #163189
January 22, 2015
668 Posts
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Posted: March 10, 2016, 8:53 am - IP Logged

That is terrible news that the Legislature snuck (probably) this through.  What angers me most is that lotteries are self sufficient and the bonus would have been paid through the lottery sales, not the State.

    haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
    Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
    United States
    Member #112968
    June 29, 2011
    3854 Posts
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    Posted: March 10, 2016, 10:27 am - IP Logged

    "all bonuses"

    Does that include lottery execs and employees ?

    Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #122691
      February 6, 2012
      330 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 10, 2016, 10:48 am - IP Logged

      That's a lot of BS, the store owners should refuse to sell tickets until their bonuses are reinstated. They have the power since they are the conduit for tickets to be sold, no tickets equals no money for the state. In fact getting only $50,000 for selling a $157 million ticket is nonsense in itself, you should get much much more than that. I wonder how much the state would lose if all the stores didn't sell tickets for one week, heck, one day? I bet it would be a whole lot more than they are trying to steal from the store owners. 

        music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
        Happy California
        United States
        Member #157856
        August 2, 2014
        1511 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 10, 2016, 11:04 am - IP Logged

         The Washington legislature should be ashamed of themselves for sneaking this law in the middle of the night. 

         VOTE people VOTE!!!

         This kind of behavior is what makes us angry.

        White Bounce

         I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

         Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

          noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
          Bay Area - California
          United States
          Member #136477
          December 12, 2012
          4105 Posts
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          Posted: March 10, 2016, 11:28 am - IP Logged

          Awful,  just awful.  What the lottery Commission is saying is  " We going to show up with Balloons & a Press conference to highlight your store"..Things Mr Singh can do on his own dime.

          People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

            Raven62's avatar - binary
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #17843
            June 28, 2005
            49674 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 10, 2016, 11:37 am - IP Logged

            That's a lot of BS, the store owners should refuse to sell tickets until their bonuses are reinstated. They have the power since they are the conduit for tickets to be sold, no tickets equals no money for the state. In fact getting only $50,000 for selling a $157 million ticket is nonsense in itself, you should get much much more than that. I wonder how much the state would lose if all the stores didn't sell tickets for one week, heck, one day? I bet it would be a whole lot more than they are trying to steal from the store owners. 

            I Agree!Lottery Agents should Strike and Lottery Players should Boycott the Washington State Lottery!

            A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

              Avatar
              NYC
              United States
              Member #161115
              November 17, 2014
              126 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 10, 2016, 11:43 am - IP Logged

              I always wondered if theses stores that sell lotto tickets get any compensation besides for selling a winning ticket. Or is it just for the enticement to get people into their stores when they advertise the lotto.

                dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
                Pennsylvania
                United States
                Member #74096
                May 2, 2009
                22872 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 10, 2016, 11:52 am - IP Logged

                Keep the balloons and party. Give him his money.

                  Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

                  United States
                  Member #162631
                  January 7, 2015
                  502 Posts
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                  Posted: March 10, 2016, 1:03 pm - IP Logged

                  THIS IS HORRIBLE.

                  What shenanigans can we expect next?   

                  No, which state will be subject next to similar shenanigans?

                  • Don't chase the numbers you play.
                  • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
                  • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                            (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
                    Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

                    United States
                    Member #162631
                    January 7, 2015
                    502 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 10, 2016, 1:11 pm - IP Logged

                     The Washington legislature should be ashamed of themselves for sneaking this law in the middle of the night. 

                     VOTE people VOTE!!!

                     This kind of behavior is what makes us angry.

                    White Bounce

                    Mr. MUSIC*,

                    I agree.  Instead of laying down on the tracks, waiting for the political
                    locomotive to run us over, we need to be heard, and not HERDED! 

                    Mr Groppo

                    • Don't chase the numbers you play.
                    • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
                    • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                              (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
                      Avatar
                      New Member
                      San Diego,Ca
                      United States
                      Member #173411
                      March 1, 2016
                      4 Posts
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                      Posted: March 10, 2016, 1:22 pm - IP Logged

                      This is just a disincentive from retails to support the lottery why create extra work for nothing.

                        s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
                        Hard Luck, Ak
                        United States
                        Member #23472
                        October 13, 2005
                        275 Posts
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                        Posted: March 10, 2016, 2:23 pm - IP Logged

                        Total BS! What is the incentive of selling a winning ticket if the store that sold it cant get a bonus. If I purchased the ticket at that store I would give the owner a 100,000 bonus just to spite the lottery. It's the right thing to do.

                        "We make a living by what you get, You make a LIFE by what you give!"

                                                                                       Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

                          dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                          Oklahoma
                          United States
                          Member #82391
                          November 12, 2009
                          6290 Posts
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                          Posted: March 10, 2016, 2:25 pm - IP Logged

                          Keep the balloons and party. Give him his money.

                          I Agree!

                          I Love Pink & Green 1908

                            lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

                            United States
                            Member #118609
                            November 4, 2011
                            932 Posts
                            Online
                            Posted: March 10, 2016, 2:30 pm - IP Logged

                            What a crock, what else is going to be cut?  Payoff to the winner or holding up funds? 

                            Wonder how many retailers are aware of this? 

                            "This happened right at the tail end of the last session. There was never a bill or any discussion," says Jan Gee, head of the Washington Food Industry Association. "It was one of those things they did behind closed doors."

                            Key word "behind closed doors", standard political garbage continues....this state is getting horrible.