A retired Baltimore City police officer who still buys coffee and a doughnut each morning added an instant ticket to his purchase that changed his day.
He scratched his way to an early birthday gift of a $50,000 prize.
“Big Tuna,” a married father of two, found Maryland Lottery luck when he stopped in Paul’s Market in Nottingham for his morning coffee and doughnut. He also bought a $2,000,000 Richer instant ticket at the store located at 4571 Ridge Road (21236).
The Baltimore County market has been his go-to Maryland Lottery spot for years.
“I scratched off two numbers and I knew immediately I was a winner. I scanned the ticket and the cashier next to me shouted, ‘Is that saying what I think it’s saying?!’ ” recalled “Big Tuna.” “I just looked at her and said, ‘I guess I’m on my way to the Lottery!’ ”
The 69-year-old has played Maryland Lottery games since 1973, when the Maryland Lottery’s first game went on sale. “Big Tuna” plays Pick 4, Pick 3, and his favorite instant ticket game, the $20 Monopoly scratch-off.
“My wife is going to lose it,” he said, laughing. “She just had surgery and she is recovering now. I’m going to have to find a way to gently tell her I won this money so she doesn’t get too excited.”
Once she feels better, he plans to take her out to eat to celebrate. When asked what he will do with the rest of the money, “Big Tuna” just smiled and said, “You never know.”
The $2,000,000 Richer scratch-off game started in February. The $30 game has five unclaimed top prizes of $2,000,000 and seven $50,000 prizes remaining, along with thousands of others ranging from $30 to $1,000.