This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Behind the Scenes at a Small Biz: March Means 'Mega' Money

Editor's Note: This article is the third installment in our "Winning the Card Game" series. Dana Norman and Michele Rothberg acquired discount greeting card store Card$mart in June 2011. They agreed to let TheStreet follow them for one year as they experience the ups and downs of running a business. Based on advice from their accountant, the owners have declined to share revenue and profit numbers.

PLAINVIEW, N.Y. ( MainStreet) -- Maybe it was the luck of the Irish last month, but Card$mart co-owner Dana Norman couldn't believe her lotto sales from customers literally in a frenzy over trying to win their share of the record Mega Millions jackpot.

Following a strong February, Norman and her partner, Michele Rothberg, spent much of the month cleaning up from Valentine's Day, laying out Easter and Passover cards, ordering for Mother's Day and finally sending the discounted Christmas cards to storage.

Yet ticket sales for the Mega Millions lottery were a welcome surprise in the long, typically dead month of March. According to the Mega Millions website, sales were unprecedented for the March 30 drawing. With no winner since Jan. 24, the jackpot rose as high as $656 million -- the largest jackpot ever, according to the website. And by now we all know the outcome of that drawing. Three winning tickets were sold for the March 30 drawing.
Mega Millions lifted sales in March for Card$mart.

Card$mart of Plainview, N.Y., certainly played its part in Mega Millions sales. Norman says customers were coming out in droves to purchase tickets - and that was good for business, particularly in a month with no strong anchor holiday. (Unfortunately St. Patrick's Day isn't a big card-buying holiday, Norman says. And while Easter and Passover cards do somewhat better, the partners have learned that customers are very last-minute buyers.)

>>>Winning the Card Game: Month 1
>>>Winning the Card Game: Month 2

"Our lottery rep was shocked at the amount of lotto we sold with one terminal," Norman says.

As Norman mentioned in Month 2, lotto in general is a big customer draw. Although Card$mart only earns 6 cents on the dollar for every ticket sold, when you have lines of eager players outside your door waiting to buy tickets, that eventually adds up.

"That Friday night of the drawing my son and I were in the store. We usually close at 7 p.m. [I told him] 'As long as people kept coming in to play I'm not closing," she recalls. "At 7 there was a line out the door."

"People that don't play [or] have never played -- everybody was playing. They don't know what they are doing and they don't know how to fill out the cards. I was giving tutorials," she says. "When we finally did close it took an awfully long time to count that lotto money. We wished that nobody would have won. We wish it went on for a longer."
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $110.38 0.00%
FB $92.07 0.00%
GOOG $626.91 0.00%
TSLA $247.57 0.00%
YHOO $30.71 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,472.37 +200.36 1.23%
S&P 500 1,951.36 +27.54 1.43%
NASDAQ 4,707.7750 +80.6910 1.74%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs