FOND DU LAC - The cornerstone of Fond du Lac's "Miracle Mile" is closing.
Ma and Pa's became famous for selling winning lottery tickets in the late 1990s. Since then, lotto hopefuls have traveled far and wide to the convenience store hoping to get the next big winner, but now it's closing and as FOX 11 found out, store regulars are in disbelief.
"You gotta buy your ticket at Ma & Pa's, that's the lucky store!" said regular Debra Hebenstreich.
At the main attraction on Fond du Lac's "Miracle Mile," steady traffic came through Ma & Pa's Wednesday. Regulars expected nothing out of the ordinary.
"I come here and I buy my weekly lottery tickets on Wednesday for the employees at work," said Hebenstreich.
But the store's famous luck seems to have run out.
"I just asked for a lottery ticket and I couldn't get one," said James Wild.
The store stopped selling gas and lottery tickets at noon. Store employees say Ma & Pa's will be closed indefinitely as of next Tuesday, but would not tell FOX 11 or customers why.
"I come here shopping every day. I had no idea that they were closing," said Dan Holzman.
Pat and Jim Moses opened Ma & Pa's in 1986. It gained national acclaim as lotto legend, selling nearly 30 major winning tickets over the last few decades. The largest was worth more than $208 million in 2006. Neighboring stores on Main Street saw similar luck, bringing the nickname the "miracle Mile."
In 2010, the Moses sold the store to the current owner, and some customers say Ma & Pa's just wasn't the same since new ownership took over.
"Once they sold it, they just couldn't keep the customers," Hebenstreich told us.
Despite that, regulars told us they did not expect Ma & Pa's to ever close. Locals and tourists still know the name.
"I was shocked, really, because, you know, there's still a lot of people that do come from out of town to get that winning ticket," said Hebenstreich.
They said Fond du Lac has lost something special.
"I'm going to miss it. So will everyone else that buys the lottery tickets here," said Holzman
FOX 11 attempted to reach the current owner of Ma & Pa's, but he declined to comment. We were also unable to reach the previous owners for their reaction.
It's unclear if anyone is planning to buy the store.
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