Russell's Meat Market in Seattle's International District sells meat and a modest selection of groceries. But its best-selling item is hope, in the form of lottery tickets.
During the year ending June 30, the small, family-owned business sold $773,540 worth of lottery tickets, making it second only to a Fred Meyer in Lynnwood in the number of Washington State Lottery tickets sold in Puget Sound. That's more than four times what Russell's sells in groceries.
In February, Russell's sold a ticket that brought the purchaser a $16 million Lotto jackpot, and after that "sales doubled," says market operator Mark Chinn.
"They think we're the lucky spot," Chinn said.
Luck is one thing. Lucrative is something else altogether. While there's no question that selling lottery tickets can be a major source of revenue for retailers, many say they do it just to keep the customer satisfied.
The state's 2,900 lottery outlets sold $314.6 million worth of lottery tickets in fiscal 1994, which ended June 30, and …