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SAN ANTONIO -- What a difference a day makes. On Sept. 21, Lester "Track" Carter made his near-daily stop at Valero's Diamond Shamrock Corner Store in Taft, Texas, to purchase a lottery ticket for his wife Alvertia. The next day, 74-year-old Alvertia learned that she was holding the single winning ticket for the $7-million Lotto Texas drawing.
"It feels so good," said Alvertia. "I kept telling my husband, 'I'm gonna win. I'm gonna win.' He'd always say, 'No, you're not.'"
"Valero's retail stores, which include Diamond Shamrock Corner Stores and Stop N Go locations in Texas, are the largest retailer of lottery ticket sales in the state," said Gary Arthur, senior vice president of marketing for Valero. "We sell one out of every six Texas Lottery tickets, so it's not surprising that our customers are often Texas Lotto winners."
Winning the $7-million jackpot means nearly as much to the store that sold the ticket and its employees as it does to the winner. The Texas Lottery Commission pays a bonus to any Lotto retailer who sells a winning ticket. The retailer bonus equals 1 percent of the jackpot won by the customer, not to exceed $500,000 per drawing. Valero, in turn, shares an equal portion of the bonus it receives, or in this case $7,000, with each of the store's employees.
"This bonus means a lot to our store employees who will continue to provide our customers with fast, convenient and friendly service. It's great that they can share in the good fortune of one of our customers," Arthur added. Valero's Diamond Shamrock retail network has sold an average of more than 30 winning Lotto tickets per year for the past decade.
Valero operates a network of some 4,500 convenience stores under the Diamond Shamrock, Beacon, Total, Ultramar and Valero brands.