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    Lottery Fever Runs High

    South Carolina retailers report increased sales, longer lines.


    FORT MILL, S.C. -- So much for the idea that a state lottery would be a novelty wearing off in a few days. Nearly a month into the S.C. Education Lottery, and hordes of people are still buying millions of tickets.

    Lottery commission records show the busiest retailer for the first month was a Circle K convenience store in Fort Mill. The store sold $115,800 worth of tickets in the first week alone, according to The (S.C.) Herald.

    Number two is Rocket Stop, just one mile from the Circle K. "We've had lines all the way around the coolers," said Danielle Beck, manager at Rocket Stop, where clerks sold $115,200 worth of tickets the first week.

    Beck, who said business as a whole is up, as people buy gasoline or other items while they're at the stores, has started ordering tickets in bundles of 60,000, instead of the 4,800 a day she ordered when the lottery started. That daily allotment was sold out within hours. "This is just unbelievable. It never seems to end," she said.

    More than $38.2 million was spent statewide on 6.2 million tickets the first two weeks of the lottery, according to information from Scientific Games International. Players have cashed in about $22 million in winnings, the report said.

    Sales figures were slightly higher the second week. According to lottery officials, people bought 3,048,916 lottery tickets the first week and 3,196,565 the second week. The lottery paid $10,870,318 in prize money the first week, then $11,249,569 the second week.

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