Q: I was under the impression that the store that sold a big winning (lottery) ticket gets a cut. A TV newscast said that’s not true. Is it just the top prize when a store gets a cut? Or never?
—Martha Hunt, Hoschton
A: Georgia Lottery retailers earn a 6 percent commission from gross sales, but they don’t receive a bonus for selling a winning ticket, spokeswoman Tandi Reddick told Q&A on the News in an email. Georgia Lottery retailers earned more than $228.7 million in commissions in fiscal year 2012, she said.
Q: Are there more suicides at Christmas than other times of the year?
—Eddie Webster, Dallas
A: Suicide rates are lower in winter, particularly in December, than other times of the year, John L. McIntosh, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor of Psychology at Indiana University South Bend, told Q&A on the News in an email. McIntosh, who has studied and written extensively about suicide, wrote that recent data is tougher to analyze because of confidentiality issues. In earlier years, “when data were available, Christmas day was not associated with high risk, but similar to winter and December, was often low, and certainly lower than the average day of the year for suicides,” he wrote. There were 38,364 suicides in the U.S. in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, averaging 105 a day. There were an average of 98.2 a day in December that year, the lowest month of the year. The highest average for a month was July, with 111.3 a day, followed by August with 111.2.
Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email email@example.com (include name, phone and city).