In a city of just over 41,000 people, resides one man whose enthusiastic personality wins over nearly everyone he meets. Meet David Haggard, a.k.a. “the Lottery Guy.”
David has been in the convenience store business for nearly half a century. He has spent 49 years absolutely perfecting the customer service game. Growing up, his family was one of the first to own and operate convenience stores in Meridian.
Fast forward to present day. David and his wife Deborah own and operate three convenience stores in and around the Meridian area.
When asked why they decided to sell lottery tickets in all three of their locations he stated, “My wife and I were just as excited as everyone else! That made us want to (sell).” He added, “It provides an additional income into the stores…that was as good a reason as any.”
Do Your Research
Once the Haggards made the decision to sell lottery tickets, they went into preparation mode immediately.
“We started on this over a year in advance,” said David.
They visited retailers in both Florida and Louisiana to gain inspiration of what worked well for those stores. The Haggards have since incorporated many of those ideas into their own locations.
For example, at their North Hill store, they set up an entire counter dedicated for customers to play scratch-offs and to fill out play slips for all of the draw-style games.
Create an Exciting and Friendly Atmosphere
When you walk into any store owned by the Haggards, the excitement in the air is almost tangible. Lottery display cases are expertly placed in the very front of each store on the counter at eye-level. The display cases are filled to the brim with bright, flashy scratch-offs immediately capturing the attention of the customer. To go the extra mile at each store, David runs a special 2nd Chance promotional drawing each month.
In all three store locations, customers are welcomed by every staff member and personally greeted by David himself, when he is on-site. Customers know they will receive five-star treatment when they shop at one of David and Deborah’s stores.
“People like to go where they are remembered,” he remarked. “My priority is customers first, period.”
It’s no surprise the Haggard’s stores remain among the top Mississippi Lottery retailers.
Additional Tips from “The Lottery Guy”
- Display all the games visibly
- Pay winning customers
- Put customers first
- Educate players on the games
- Make it fun.
- Hampton Shell: 1020 Hwy. 39 N., Meridian
- North Hill Sunoco: 2435 N. Hill St., Meridian
- Toomsuba Sunoco: 75 Will Garrett Rd., Toomsuba—largest win: $200k Powerball