‘Lucky’ New York Lottery Seller Is Not Lucky, Exactly, Just Busy

Brett Smiley

nys lottery winners smokes4less

“It is a lucky spot,” said Cheryl Jones, interviewed in October by CBS News New York, referring to cigar shop and lottery retailer Smokes 4 Less in Newburgh, New York. “Everybody that I know always says they hit here, Pick 3, Pick 4. Just lucky. “

The store, one of 10 in the Smokes 4 Less chain in Dutchess and Orange counties in New York, has produced a load of winners, for sure, at least six $1 million Powerball winners as of last October.

And according to a store clerk who spoke with CBS, people come from all over, including from Brooklyn and Connecticut, hoping to cash in on what appears to be the store’s good fortune.

Though unlikely to deter the superstitious kind or repeated headlines, the truth is less exciting.

Printing winners

The reason that Smokes 4 Less is printing tickets for so many winners is because the store has an agreement with popular lottery app and ticket courier Jackpocket. The relationship is such that anyone using the Jackpocket app throughout the state will have their actual printed ticket fulfilled at one of the Smokes 4 Less establishments.

And that is a large number of tickets.

“Jackpocket does a high volume,” said Brad Maione, director of communications for the New York State Gaming Commission.

Indeed, according to a report commissioned by Jackpocket in 2023, the lottery app is responsible for “roughly 15% of all draw game sales in New York on an average day.”

With around 15% of sales coming from the nation’s biggest state lottery, it makes sense that the store would be producing scores of winners, including most recently a second-prize winner in the New York LOTTO game on March 9 for $172,396.

nys lottery
(Via NYS Lottery)


The point here is not to diminish Smokes 4 Less’s claim to fame as a lucky institution, or to discourage people from making a pit stop in Newburgh on the way up or down the New York State Thruway. If you’re a lottery player heading to or from Resorts World, only about 2.7 miles from the Newburgh shop, have at it!

In fact, I have a soft spot for Smokes 4 Less. As a guy who grew up in Dutchess County and went to Roy C. Ketcham High School about two miles from a Smokes 4 Less outfit, I’m pretty sure I’ve obtained a few products from this store.

Unfortunately, a winning lottery ticket wasn’t one of them. They can’t all be winners.