KEPR finds the luckiest lotto stands in the Tri-Cities

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - A few weeks ago one local man cashed in on a winning lotto ticket worth $140,000. And it turns out the Tri-Cities is one of the luckiest areas in the state.

The odds of winning any money on a lotto scratcher is about one in four. But hitting a large jackpot is a bit less likely. Robert Leckendy was so surprised when he did.

"A heart attack, I called my mother, called my sister, because I couldn't believe it, I had to check it four or five times," said $1000 winner Robert Leckendy.

Robert spends up to five dollars a week on the lotto. Before now he'd never won more than a couple dollars.

"I came and bought my lotto ticket like normal, checked the results, and January 1st, one thousand dollars," said Leckendy.

Robert is one of 23 people who've had a "Big Win" at the Richland Safeway. "Big Wins" are anything more than a thousand dollars.

Those honors go to Sunrise Food Mart on Road-28 in Pasco has had 15-winners in just the last year. Lotto dreams have been made a number of times at the Tri-Cities Mini Mart on West 27-th in Kennewick, and also at the Kwik Stop on Swift in Richland.

"Two dollar gamble and it paid off," said Leckendy.

A pay off store manager Matt Fabbri appreciates.

"It's nice to see local people winning the jackpots," said Safeway store manager Matt Fabbri.

The Tri-Cities have seen more than 900 big winners in the last three years. One of the biggest was back in 2010. The Richland Safeway sold a ticket worth nearly nine-million. Even after his winnings, Robert says his eye is still on a bigger prize.

"I see the sign all the time, and always hope someday that will be me, but you never know," said Leckendy.

A game that needs to be played to win.

Officials say that over 15-million dollars worth of lotto money has been cashed in the Tri-Cities in the last three years.