A Natchez Staple


Natchez has a longstanding, albeit colorful, association with gambling.

On occasion, what went on in the rough and rowdy gambling Mecca of Natchez-under-the-Hill leached into Natchez proper, as when a mob of Kentucky boatmen ceased their three-day riot at Natchez-under-the-Hill only after city officials aimed a cannon at them from the bluffs above.

Rest assured, things are quieter now, and gambling is comfortable, even inviting, for city residents. Prior to Mississippi Lottery selling tickets, avid lottery players would often cross the Natchez Vidalia bridge, stopping along a series of retailers across state lines to purchase tickets. Now, Mississippi retailers welcome them to shop for their lottery products locally.

Natchezian Tom Graning is proud to be a Mississippi Lottery retailer. He focuses on keeping his family-owned business thriving and true to the Natchez spirit.

His father Al Graning founded Go Mart as Graning Oil Company in 1984. Al’s sons took over the business in 1990, rebuilding and rebranding it in 2000 as a Chevron. Today, Tom Graning owns and operates Go Mart, still located at 4 Sgt. Prentiss Drive in Natchez, right where his father first began.

Great Staff; Greater Sales

Graning humbly gives credit where credit is due. He applauds his stuff and praises the employees for always being willing to assist with the smooth operation of the business.

“The key to success is a great staff,” Graning said.

Graning and the team make a point to connect with their customers and provide the utmost customer service experience. Graning even encourages staff members to purchase lottery products when they are not working with hopes they will familiarize themselves with how the games work and potentially win!

Graning is proud to own a business where everyone has fun and enjoys Mississippi Lottery products, even the employees.

Big Jackpots, Big Selections and Big Payouts

Sales have increased recently due to the Mega Millions® jackpot reaching over $1 billion in July.

“Profits have equaled out to each other because everyone wanted to win the jackpot,” said Graning.

Additionally, Go Mart currently has a total of 40 facings, providing players a huge selection of game choices.

Graning is also a firm believer in consistently paying player prizes. In fact, Go Mart is well-known in the area for paying player winnings. One week in July, Graning paid out a combined $3,000 in online and scratch-off wins
to players.

“Customers will keep coming if they can get their money back,” he added.

In keeping with the true nature and tradition of Natchez’s roots, Graning has managed to continue the success of his family’s business, while setting a great standard for the future of lottery retailers.