Oregon carryout no stranger to instant lottery luck

10/12/2012
BY TANYA IRWIN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Marvin Kiezi sells scratch-off lottery tickets Thursday at Navarre Carryout in Oregon, Ohio.
Marvin Kiezi sells scratch-off lottery tickets Thursday at Navarre Carryout in Oregon, Ohio.

The lottery gods must be smiling on Navarre Carryout in Oregon.

The store, tucked back off the road at 3158 Navarre Ave., recently has sold two big-winner scratch-off lottery tickets. The latest one, a $10 Money Maker sold on Oct. 4, had a $1 million payout, said Mario Kiezi, one of the managers of the family-owned store. On July 19, 2011, the store sold a $20 Cash Extravaganza ticket that paid out $5 million.

Mr. Kiezi’s brother Marvin Kiezi sold both the winning tickets. The $5 million ticket was sold to a woman who had been a frequent buyer of tickets at the store.

“We haven't seen her back in here since she won,” Marvin Kiezi said with a laugh.

It’s not a huge shock, because that kind of money is bound to change a person's life pretty drastically, he said. The most recent winner was an Oregon man whose name Marvin Kiezi declined to reveal because he didn’t want to threaten the man’s privacy. He did share the story of the man’s big win, which was captured on the store’s video camera because he scratched the winning ticket on the counter at the store.

The big winner originally bought three Classic Black II and lost on all three. Marvin Kiezi prodded him to try the $10 Money Maker tickets, because they are frequently winners.

“He scratched it off and then came over to me and thought that I was messing with him, that I’d given him a fake ticket,” Mr. Kiezi said. “He was in shock.” The man went on to tell Mr. Kiezi that the ticket had changed his life.

“I was really happy for him,” Marvin Kiezi said. “It’s nice see someone’s life change because of money.

“You never know what a person’s situation is or why they are scratching off the tickets. They might be doing it just for fun, or they may have unpaid bills, college educations to pay for. You just never know.”

The store will get a commission for selling the winning ticket and plans to reinvest it in the facility, Marvin Kiezi said. The money made from the 2011 ticket was used to buy a new cash register system.

The store sells 49 different scratch-off tickets, Marvin Kiezi said. The $1 Cash Explosion, $5 Cash Word, and $20 Lucky 7 Playbook tickets are the most popular, he said. The scratch-off tickets are popular as birthday and holiday gifts.

The store also has lottery clubs from Chrysler Group LLC and Libbey Inc., whose members pool their money and buy tickets together, usually Powerball or Mega Millions.

Carl Jones of Toledo bought a $5 Money Mania ticket on Thursday.

“I spend $10 to $15 each week,” he said. “Usually buy the $2 tickets, but today I splurged.”

Gary Zdrojewski of Toledo cashed in a scratch-off winner that yielded $20 on Thursday. He had won $50 on a scratch-off ticket the day before. He knew exactly what he’d do if he ever wins $1 million or more.

“I’d pay off my bills and invest the rest,” he said. “I’d retire early and travel.”

He figures over the years he has broken even with what he’s spent versus what he’s won.

“But you never know when you're going to hit big,” Mr. Zdrojewski said.

Contact Tanya Irwin at: tirwin@theblade.com or 419-724-6066.