A florist in Rhode Island is planting the seed for other alternative retailers to begin providing lottery tickets to customers. John Dick of Johnston, Providence County, applied to become an official lottery retailer in 2013 and recently became the first florist in the state to offer a variety of lottery tickets.
Dick decided to apply for the position after reading an article about fellow florist Susan Kaufmanâ€™s similar success in Ohio. Kaufman began operating as a lottery agent from her florists in Waynesfield, Ohio, in the hope the venture would save her store from the recession. It worked â€“ Kaufmanâ€™s business was saved by the significant increase of walk-in business.
Inspired, Dick became an official Rhode Island Lottery agent on February 9th, racking up over $1,000 in lottery sales in the first week alone. He may not be the typical lottery agent, but heâ€™s got full support from Rhode Island officials; â€œJohn is not your traditional lottery agent, thatâ€™s for sure,â€ said Donald J. Cataldi, sales manager for the Rhode Island Lottery, â€œ…but heâ€™s innovative. He had a great attitude, and more important a great sense for business. His sales the first week are proof he can â€“ and will â€“ be successful.â€
At first, the combination of lottery agent and florist may seem a little bizarre but Dick has solid plans to coherently merge the two businesses. Certain that most lottery winners always want to share the luck with their loved ones, Dick is confident that combining lottery tickets with flowers can work as effective gifts.
â€œIf someone wants to send a birthday bouquet to a loved one, friend or family member, we can include a couple of scratch tickets,â€ Dick said, indicating an arrangement that a customer was due to collect. â€œAnd when people do come in for flowers and see that we offer lottery tickets, they might buy a ticket.â€
We think John is onto something â€“ after all, what could be better than receiving a thoughtful bouquet of flowers with the chance of winning a million?
Atwood Florists is open from 08:00ET to 17:00ET Monday through Friday and 08:00ET to 14:00ET on Saturday.by
Updated February 28th, 2014