Flanagan grocery store sells million dollar lotto ticket

By WEEK Producer

November 29, 2012 Updated Nov 29, 2012 at 10:39 PM CDT

FLANAGAN, Ill. -- Bart's Supermarket sits right on Route 116 in Flanagan, and the small town grocery was the talk of the town Thursday.

"I woke up this morning and got on Facebook and saw that Bart's had won the lottery," said Linda Cox, an employee at Bart's.

Technically, Bart's didn't win, but someone who purchased a lottery ticket there did.

A million dollar winner in Wednesday night's drawing and word spread fast.

"A lot of people have called to check their tickets," said Store Manager Rockey Patel. "They call me and ask, 'anybody yet, anybody yet?' I say, 'I don't know yet'."

Because a winning ticket was sold there, the owner of Bart's is rewarded with one percent of the winning amount. One percent of a million dollars is $10,000.

But as of Thursday afternoon, the winner hadn't stepped forward, and they may not be from Flanagan.

Route 116 stretches the width of the state, so the lucky person could have been passing through from far away.

"(Route-116) goes to Peoria, it goes to Pontiac, which connects with Bloomington and Chicago, so it could be anybody," said Flanagan resident Janice Tunberg. "Anybody could have stopped here but hopefully, it's somebody from Flanagan. That would be real nice."

Angela Birge and some friends from work pooled their money to buy tickets for Wednesday's drawing.

"I was praying last night for someone to win and somebody won. It's really exciting," Birge said.

Bart's Supermarket has a history of lotto success. The walls there are decorated with dozens of past winners. But until now the biggest payoff was $5,000. People there are convinced the place is lucky.

"It's really just good for Flanagan," explained Cox. "It's kind of put us on the map because we're such a little town."

Flanagan: a little town making big news.