The Fast Trip in Floyd County at 9522 Alabama Highway that Ahmad operates with his wife, Shahnad Farooq, is the No. 1 Georgia Lottery retailer in Floyd County, and it should come as no surprise that the No. 2 and No. 3 lottery sales agents in Floyd County are also located near the Alabama line.
The Rome Food Mart, 2406 Gadsden Road in Cave Spring, is second, while the Chevron Food Mart at 2382 Gadsden Road in Cave Spring has the third-place spot.
Seven of the top 10 lottery retailers from Floyd County were either in West Rome or Cave Spring.
The Georgia Lottery Corporation declined to release specific sales figures for the top 10 lottery retailers in Floyd County, saying it is proprietary information.
“Because purchasing lottery tickets involves cash transactions we do not release retailer sales for security purposes,” said Kimberly Starks, a public relations representative of the Georgia Lottery Corp.
According to the Georgia Lottery Corporation, the average retailer earned approximately $27,000 in sales commissions in Fiscal Year 2011.
“I’m selling a lot of scratch-offs and online both,” said Ahmad, who noted that lottery sales also prompt other business. “When they come to buy lottery tickets, usually people will also buy cigarettes, beer, a Coke. On the weekends, people come with their friends or family and sit around the store and play lottery and buy stuff to eat, cakes, Coke.”
John Ezekiel, an insurance executive from Gadsden, Ala., purchased both Mega Millions and Powerball tickets at Fast Trip on Wednesday.
“It’s cheaper than going to Vegas,” said Ezekiel.
There was no question in Ahmad’s mind that the store would not do as well as it does overall without lottery sales. He said that virtually every day his Alabama customers make remarks about why their state government hasn’t approved a lottery, since it’s costing the state business.
The story is much the same at the Chevron Food Mart, 2382 Gadsden Road in Cave Spring.
Ravi Singh, a clerk at the store owned by Bhulla Singh, estimated that as much as 70-75 percent of the lottery business comes from Alabama customers.
“They buy other things, groceries, beverages, cigarettes,” Singh said.
Retailers receive a 6 percent commission on all lottery product sales. However, retailers no longer receive incentive payments for selling jackpot winning tickets as a result of the passage of HOPE reforms made March 15, 2011.