31 years ago there was no question about selling lottery, recalls Pam Sitzman of Red’s Auto & Bait. “It was the new big thing—there was a lot of buzz around it—we had to get in on it.”

Red’s was a very small business in 1990. Sitzman and her husband Red, operated the service station and sold a few snacks along with bait and tackle, and lottery.

Red’s has sold a $50,000 Gopher 5 winner and a $30,000 winning scratch ticket, but Sitzman most vividly remembers when a regular player called her at home late one night “squealing like crazy” that she’d won $25,000. Sitzman told the player to write her name on the ticket, put it in a secure spot, sleep on it, and stop by in the morning. The player was still squealing (and sleep-deprived) the next day when Red’s opened and checked the winning ticket.

These days Red’s has expanded its service station and now includes a C-store with food service, plus bait and tackle and of course lottery. Located 30 miles south of Brainerd and right on Highway 25 in Pierz, Red’s serves steady traffic year-round and welcomes plenty of summer lake traffic. If you’re from the area, you know that Red’s has a loyal following and plenty of regular lottery players. Stop in and say “Hi” if you’re in the Brainerd Lakes area this summer. It might be your lucky day.