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Is NJ the land of luck? $850M in recent jackpots have some speculating

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Somebody who shops at a supermarket in North Jersey is now more than $315 million richer.

The Powerball jackpot win comes just seven weeks after someone else in North Jersey won a jackpot in excess of a half billion dollars in the Mega Millions game.

The developments have prompted some lottery players to buy tickets exclusively in New Jersey.

It's not clear that New Jersey is more lucky than anywhere else, but anyone who wins a jackpot in the state has to be clearly identified, like it or not.

The most recent big win was from a ticket sold at 5:38 p.m. on May 18 at the ShopRite supermarket on River Street.

At the market on Monday, New Jersey Lottery's acting executive director John White awarded the owner of the ShopRite, food retail mogul Larry Inserra, with a $30,000 check for selling the winning ticket.

"We're going to donate it to the community we serve," Inserra said at the photo op.

He and his supermarket chain are doing well when it comes to lottery sales. =

A month ago, the ShopRite that Inserra owns in Wayne, New Jersey, sold a Cash4Life ticket, the winner of which will get $1,000 a day for life.

Also, seven weeks ago, Richard Wahl of Vernon, in North Jersey, won $533 million from a Mega Millions ticket he bought in Riverdale, in Morris County, New Jersey.

The streak has resulted in some people buying in the Garden State exclusively.

"That's correct," a ticket buyer at the Hackensack ShopRite said. "So hopefully, I'm next in line."

However, an expert on gaming says not so fast.

"There are trends in gambling," said Donald Hoover, director and senior lecturer at Fairleigh Dickinson University's International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. "They are just trends. They're nothing but pure chance."

In fact, when it comes to Powerball winners, the No. 1 winning state is Indiana. It's had more than 10 percent of all jackpot winners in the game that's played in 44 U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. New Jersey comes in 20th place.

When somebody wins a major jackpot in any of the tri-state's games of chance, their name and hometown is required by law to become public record. It's a practice that flies in the face of a recent ruling in New Hampshire that allowed a major jackpot winner to remain anonymous.

Six states -- Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina -- allow anonymity. Everywhere else, the winner's name is made public, including in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

"By having the winners be known publicly, we give credence," White said.

Public disclosure, he told PIX11 News, shows "that it's all above board."

The winner of the new $315 million Powerball jackpot has up to a year to come forward to claim their prize.