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For St. Patrick's Day, Here's Where You Can Get Lucky in Rochester

Around Town Laura looks for luck — in the form of lottery scratch-off tickets — in Rochester.

Have you got the luck of the Irish? 

Fun fact: Some people claim the "luck of the Irish" is actually bad and that the saying comes from the Irish Potato Famine of 1845. Others say it refers to their good luck during the California Gold Rush.

Personally, I don't have a drop of Irish blood in me, but isn't everyone considered Irish this week? For this column, just think of me as Laura O'Cassar.

I decided to test the luck theory and see whether I could scratch up a pot of gold here in Rochester. With $15 burning a hole in my pocket, I set out to see where you can get lucky in our fair town.

No luck at the liquor stores

When I think lottery, I think liquor stores, so my first two stops took me to and Main Street Beer & Wine. Neither ticket rendered any winnings, so I changed my game plan.

Fun fact: The odds of winning on my $1 scratch-off are 1 in 5.9. The chances of finding a four-leaf clover are 1 in 10,000.

I found out the on Walton does not sell lottery tickets, but the cashier was kind enough to direct me to the and .

I must have been getting hungry, because the $2 Black Cherry Tripler caught my eye at the , along with a $20 scratch-off nearby. Odds of winning on the $2 scratch-off are 1 in 4.9. Chances of winning on the $20 scratch-off are 1 in 2.6. How do you like those odds?

The $20 was out of my budget and the Black Cherry was a loser, so I made my way to Kroger.

Cha-ching! A winner at last!

The Kroger at Walton and Livernois sells scratch-offs at the customer service counter and also has an instant game vending machine that does not make change. Since I had only a $10 bill, I went to the counter. And this is where luck, or maybe just old-fashioned Midwestern kindness, finally came into play.

The service desk worker told me she would make change for me so I could buy from the vending machine because people were getting really lucky with the M&M's scratch-off ticket. 

I was game. I put in my two singles and soon after started scratching. Lo and behold, it was a winner! Not only that, but because the matching number was green, my prize was doubled from $5 to $10!

Now, I'm not the only lucky one. Patch is donating the winnings of this investigation to for its new beehive. That's $10 in its honey pot.

The winning combination

Now I knew what was lucky for me — grocery stores (likely because I am a stay-home mom who happens to be in a grocery store on a daily basis) and M&M's tickets (since I gave up sweets for Lent, this must be some divine compensation). 

To test my theory, I next headed to on Adams. After I stopped to smell the shamrocks, I found the Lucky Spot machine and selected my lucky ticket. Bingo! It was a winner! Only $2 this time, but I was on a roll!

Fun fact: According to tradition, the first leaf of a clover is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and, if you should be so fortunate, the fourth is for luck.

Next stop, where my luck ran out.

But I wasn't ready to give up yet! At  Party Store, I clung desperately to my love of the M&M's ticket. I even steered some poor man in its direction. We both lost. (Sorry, guy!)

Just one ticket left

Now, with my scientific theory on luck torn to shreds, I headed to . I threw caution to the wind and let the cashier select my $2 ticket. As fate would have it, she selected the Wild Time Party ticket, the same ticket I started with. That first ticket was a loser. Would this one fare better?

No. Another loser. And my grand experiment came to an end.

In conclusion: $15 spent, $12 won and a donation to Dinosaur Hill's beehive project. I guess the bees are the lucky ones today.

Bringing your luck home

Some people consider a blooming shamrock plant a bit of good luck in their own home. Stores around town, including and , are selling them now.

Even if the plant doesn't bring you luck, it will be a nice touch of spring at your table.

chris murray March 14, 2011 at 01:28 PM
Only at Christmas. Everyone gets $10 worth in their stocking. Some years we have some lucky people but nothing really big and other years like this one are a bust. Even researching to see which games have the best odds and still have the big prizes available seems to be of no use.
Laura Cassar March 14, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Secret sources reveal that Hollywood Market is a lucky place to buy a ticket! Maybe my grocery store theory has some validity after all!
Barb L March 16, 2011 at 08:54 PM
This is a great article! Thanks for all the stats, they're interesting!

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