There’s the lady who comes in every Tuesday to buy her usual lot of Cash 3 tickets. There’s the regular crew who show up the first Tuesday of each month to try out the new scratch-off tickets, and on one Thursday morning, there’s the guy who thought he’d won $60, until the woman behind the counter gave him the good news: his win was actually $120.
Bao and Kim Nguyen, the husband-and-wife team behind Bao Wow’s on Government Street in Ocean Springs, know them all on a first-name basis.
“It’s all about the community,” Bao said. “And for us, it’s all about customer service.”
Adding the Mississippi Lottery to the product line was a natural fit for Bao Wow’s. Bao and Kim have owned the business since 2008, and they’ve been a Mississippi Lottery retailer since the lottery started in 2019.
“We’re blessed to have some loyal customers and loyal employees,” Kim said. “We work to keep the ticket displays up-to-date, and we post the certificates for the winning tickets we’ve sold.
“People know we pay the prize amounts under $600,” she continued. “Again, it’s just a customer service thing. Even if they bought the ticket somewhere else, if it’s a winner, we pay out. They remember that. They may buy something – maybe more tickets, maybe something else – while they’re here, or maybe they’ll come back to buy here next time.”
It’s basic salesmanship to “ask for the sale” – to ask customers if they’d like to add a Cash 3, Mississippi Match 5, Powerball®, Mega Millions® or scratch-off ticket to their purchase. The Nguyens are so familiar with their customers, in some cases, they know which games their customers want as they walk to
Bao and Kim said they work with their Lottery Sales Representative and Inside Sales personnel to make sure they have the stock they need, and Kim is the one who makes sure everything is in order – from the tickets in the dispensers to
the Mississippi Lottery signage and display center.
“Maybe I’m a little OCD, but I like everything to be neat and straight,” she said.
It’s not just the lottery materials in order. The store aisles are neat, and the displays are simple. It’s not fancy; it’s just logical.
Weekends are busy times for lottery sales, and for some reason, Tuesdays – especially Tuesday mornings – can see a rush for tickets.
“It’s great to have the Mississippi Lottery,” Kim said. “People waited a long time to get it, and they really seem to enjoy it.
“It’s not just the first Tuesday, when the new scratch-off games come out each month,” Kim stressed. “Believe me, they know about first Tuesdays. Some of them will come in and wait for the new games if we don’t have them out yet, or they’ll ask us ‘Are the new games here?’
“But, for some reason, it seems like every Tuesday morning is a big time for ticket sales.”