Houston-area convenience store reaps some rewards after selling $19 million Lotto Texas winning ticket

A cashier at Master Food Mart in Willis says lottery sales have spiked since a customer purchased a jackpot-winning ticket there in September.

Texas Lottery
FILE – In this July 9, 2010 file photo, a poster advertising the Texas Lottery is on display. (AP Photo/Steve Nurenberg, File)

A convenience store north of Houston is the talk of its small town after recently selling a winning lottery ticket worth millions of dollars.

The jackpot-winning ticket in the $19 million Lotto Texas drawing on Sept. 17 was sold at Master Food Mart, 13053 E. FM 1097 Rd. in Willis, about 50 miles north of Houston in Montgomery County. The Texas Lottery Commission said the winner is a resident of Katy, a suburb west of Houston, who asked to remain anonymous.

"I think it's very exciting for our little community to win something like this," said Lydia LaRue, a cashier at the Willis store. "It'll put us on the map and make us better. I think it's totally awesome."

The Texas Lottery Commission said in a news release that the unnamed winner from Katy used the "Quick Pick" option to obtain the winning numbers – 5, 9, 18, 22, 35 and 48. The winner also chose the cash value option at the time of purchase and will receive of a prize of nearly $12 million before taxes.

The person told the lottery commission they were "surprised" to learn of the win and planned to use the money for business and traveling expenses, according to the lottery commission. The winner also said they would "pray to God to be able to have good administration and wisdom," the lottery commission said.

In addition to the jackpot prize, the Sept. 17 drawing yielded nearly 60,000 winning tickets across the state, with the other winners receiving prizes ranging from $2 to $12,002. Lotto Texas drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 10:12 p.m.

The Texas Lottery, which started in 1992, offers multiple scratch-off games and drawings. It set an annual sales record for the 12th consecutive year during fiscal year 2022, with nearly $8.3 billion, according to a September news release from the Texas Lottery Commission.

Stores that sell jackpot-winning tickets for the Powerball and Mega Millions games receive 1 percent of the prize money. That retailer bonus does not apply to the Lotto Texas games, so the Master Food Mart in Willis will not get a cut of the winning ticket it sold.

But LaRue, the cashier at the gas station, said it still is reaping a reward.

"We can't keep our boxes full on the scratch-offs," she said. "I feel like we've sold more of the lottery tickets and the other games, too, because of us selling the big ticket. They do believe that lightning can strike twice."

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