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Is this Chicago suburb the best place to buy lottery tickets? AP Photo/Nati Harnik
A customer inspects the Powerball ticket she purchased at a U-Stop store in Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. The $317 million prize would be the 11th largest Powerball jackpot ever and the 22nd largest in U.S. history when including Mega Millions, the other national lottery game. The pot has been rolling since early December. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Add the Villa Park Jewel-Osco to the list of locations to buy your next lottery ticket. That is, if you believe in lightning striking the same place twice.

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Beth Zirbes of Lombard was scratching off a Lotto ticket at the west suburban grocery store from a self service machine at the store, when she saw that she won $1 million from the ticket.

“I was shocked,” Zirbes said on the Sun-Times. “It seems crazy that you can become a millionaire while walking around the grocery store!” Of course, this couldn’t happen at a better time of the year, as Zirbes noted that she’ll “probably spend a little more on Christmas gifts this year.”

>Zirbes is accepting the money in one lump-sum of $600,000, which she plans to use to help pay for her two daughters student loans. The Jewel-Osco (22. E Charles Road) will receive a bonus of $10,000 for selling the winning ticket.

Every store that sells a ticket gets 10% of the winnings in Illinois, but other states have different percentages. One Boston-based photographer made store-owners the subject of one of her photography projects documenting what happens have the lottery tickets are scratched.

While there are no statistics out there to say that a store has higher likelihood of selling multiple winning tickets, it’s in the store’s best interest to advertise the fact as much as possible.

According to Forbes, “researchers have found retailers that sell a large-prize winning ticket will experience a 12 to 38 percent spike in sales for the winning lotto game within the following week. The effect diminishes overtime, but the store will most likely see inflated sales for 40 continuous weeks afterwards.”

Then again, maybe there is something in the water at Villa Park that makes the town lucky. A Villa Park man won a $100,000 lottery prize in August after buying a ticket from a Mobil gas station. “I couldn’t believe it!  I re-checked my ticket at least five times,” said Rick Poppert, the winning ticket holder.

Last year, another man, Harry Noehrenberg, won $750,000 after buying a ticket from a Villa Park liquor store. “I certainly didn’t expect to win a prize like this!  I’m speechless.  It’s a dream come true,” Noehrenberg said.

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While Villa Park may be one lucky suburb, don’t get your hopes up too much. You are indeed still more likely to get struck by lightning than win the lottery.

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