The state Liquor Control Board just announced that a 121 individuals bid a total of more than $30 million for the rights to apply for liquor licenses to operate Washington State's 167 liquor stores, which will be privatized on June 1. The online auction was one consequence of Initiative 1183, which privatized the state's liquor industry.

Only the 167 existing state-run stores, plus 162 more contract stores that are operated by individuals, will be exempt from 1183's requirement that only stores 10,000 square feet or larger are eligible to sell hard alcohol.

The single largest successful bid was for a store in Tacoma, which went for $750,00. The lowest winning bid was $49,600, for a store in Spokane. The largest bid in Seattle was $500,100, for the store at 12th and Pine. The lowest winning bid in Seattle was $70,150, for the Crown Hill store.

Twenty-eight people bought rights at more than one store. The most prolific winning bidder? A guy named Kulbir Singh, who bought the rights to eight stores in Federal Way, Renton, Tacoma, Spokane, Bellevue, Oak Harbor, and Sequim.

More information about specific stores is available on the liquor board's web site.

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