MONROE, CT — Comaro Mini-Mart is a town destination for buying CT Lottery tickets as many of its customers try their luck picking numbers and playing scratch off games on a daily basis. In the store’s history, it sold three winning tickets for jackpots of a million dollars or more, but its patrons had to wait eight years before someone bought the fourth golden ticket for the first drawing this month.
A Monroe man who wishes to remain anonymous bought the winning ticket for the Jan. 1 drawing for Powerball’s second prize of $1 million. He claimed his prize Thursday, according to Valerie Guglielmo, a spokesperson for CT Lottery.
Comaro Mini-Mart, located in the Comaro Shopping Center at 487 Monroe Turnpike, has been under new management for nine months, so this is the first big jackpot for manager Dhayan Patel.
Signs posted high on the wall behind the front counter display winning tickets sold, which include scratch off games with prizes as high as $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000, but Patel was always eager for something bigger.
“I check for big winners in Connecticut,” he said Friday. “There was one Powerball second prize winner, so I checked to see where it was.”
On Monday, he read an NBC Connecticut article online.
“I found a place in Monroe sold the ticket,” he said. “I got more excited and curious where in Monroe. Then I found out it was Comaro Mini-Mart. I called my boss. When I found it was our store, I was super-excited.”
Patel checked other online news articles as well, and the store confirmed they were the only ones who sold a winning ticket.
He said the Monroe winner got all five numbers, but not the Powerball, which is good enough for the $1 million second prize, rather than the $842 million jackpot.
The news spread quickly.
“A heard you had a big winner!” a store patron said, as he walked up to the cash register Friday morning.
“Yeah, one million dollars,” Patel said proudly.
Throughout the week, Patel said customers have asked him to share the story of how he found out his store sold the ticket and some asked if Comaro Mini-Mart gets a percentage of the winnings.
Based on certain factors, Patel said a store can receive a commission as high as $10,000 when it sells a winning ticket to a customer who claims their prize.
“We sell a lot of tickets,” he said. “When Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots are over $500 million, that’s when a lot of customers come.”
Some who asked Patel about the winning Powerball ticket he recently sold are not regulars. “They heard about it and started buying lottery tickets from us,” Patel said.
But not all of Comaro Mini-Mart’s customers are feeling more lucky.
“Are you kidding me?” David Pace, of Shelton, said. “I couldn’t pick the numbers the day after it was drawn.”
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