whole 'Lotto' business at the fair
Street Food Mart working the state fair Lotto booth
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[August 13, 2008]
Cliff McCumber, owner and
operator of the 5th Street Food Mart, smiled and summed up his
experience so far with one word, "unbelievable."
McCumber, who has owned the Lincoln store for just short of 20
years, was awarded the right to handle this year's Illinois Lottery
ticket sales at the state fair, and he hasn't had a chance to relax
one minute. "We are so busy that the days just fly by. From opening
up at 9:30 a.m. till we close at 10 p.m. it is just nonstop,"
McCumber said. "We don't even have enough time to look at our
watches. But it's a lot of fun. You have to go into something like
this with that attitude"
The store staffs the booth with four employees from the food
mart, and sometimes Cliff has to ask a food concessionaire nearby if
he can run some food over to him and his busy staff. "The concession
people are all great. Everyone helps each other out," McCumber
The food mart, which has the highest Lotto sales in Logan County,
was awarded the highly prized Illinois Lotto award after he put his
name into the hat, offering to run the concession.
McCumber isn't sure if his high Lotto sales or the fact his store
has sold Illinois Lottery from the first day had anything to do with
his being chosen, but he is enjoying the moment without pondering
how his store was picked.
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He stated that the throng of visitors to the state fair has been
huge, what with the mild temperatures and cool breezes, and that has
driven sales even higher than expected.
He offered that sales between the various scratch-off cards and
Lotto drawings are about even as best he can tell so far. "People
are buying everything we have. And we have three new scratch-off
games that are only available at the fair right now that are real
The Lotto booth also has been authorized to pay out higher
on-site winnings than normal. "Monday we paid out an $800 winner to
one fellow," he said. "Now that was fun."
Amidst a whole "Lotto" work.
[By MIKE FAK]