His loyal pal, who routinely takes the lucky player’s non-winning scratch-offs to enter into My Lottery Rewards, returned the lucky instant ticket after discovering it carried the game’s top prize.
The 67-year-old scratch-off fan said he routinely travels up and down Belair Road to purchase instant tickets. A heavy equipment mechanic for Baltimore County, the player researches older games that still have unclaimed top prizes and looks for those games in stores.
On the day luck came his way, the Nottingham resident stopped at Nikki’s Discount Liquors in Baltimore to purchase games.
Later, after scratching the instant tickets off and thinking none carried a prize, he handed the batch of games to his loyal friend and co-worker. His friend routinely enters non-winning instant tickets into My Lottery Rewards to try his luck in second-chance drawings.
That good friend stopped in his tracks when he tried to enter the Gold scratch-off. My Lottery Rewards will not let players enter winning scratch-offs and the friend soon discovered the $5 game carried a $50,000 top prize.
“He told me he had to verify the ticket twice to make sure it was real,” said the lucky winner. “The next day when he gave me the ticket, he said ‘You’re lucky I like you!’ ”
The father of two grown children and grandfather of two told Maryland Lottery officials how grateful he is for his friend’s honesty.
“I gave him the biggest hug and almost cried,” said the fortunate player. “I really don’t know how I missed that it was a winner.”
The happy man plans to use the prize to pay off his truck loan and make home improvements.
Also winning is Nikki’s Discount Liquors, which sold the Gold scratch-off. The store located at 7542 Belair Road earns a $500 bonus from the Maryland Lottery for selling the top-prize winning ticket in the game.