It pays to double check your tickets
By Kate Northrop
WALDORF, Md. — It's a good idea to double-check lottery tickets before tossing them. Nearly throwing out a winning lottery ticket almost cost a Maryland man a $50,000 prize.
A landscaper just so happened to come into a lot of green when he hit a $50,000 prize with a Fast Play Lucky Numbers lottery ticket, but he did not realize it at first. When the anonymous player mistook it for a loser, the winning ticket just barely escaped being thrown in the trash.
The 50-year-old was on his way home from work when he stopped at the US Fuel gas station on Crain Highway in Waldorf to play the lottery.
He had recently tried out a game from the Maryland Lottery's new Fast Play family of games and wanted to try his luck again. This time, he put down $10 on the Lucky Numbers progressive jackpot game and gave it a quick once-over after receiving the ticket. At first glance, it didn't appear to be a winner, and so he instinctively considered tossing the slip in the trash.
Before he did, however, he noticed a bonus game at the bottom of the ticket that offered a second chance to win a prize.
"I almost balled it up and threw it out, but before I did, I scanned the ticket with the Lottery's app while sitting in my car," the Waldorf resident told the Lottery.
The lucky player was met with a congratulatory message accompanied with a note that he had won a $50,000 prize.
The Charles County man was more than relieved that he didn't throw out that ticket. He immediately dialed up his family to tell them what had happened.
"I was shaking when I told them," he recalled.
That $50,000 decision will go a long way. The prize will help cover the relocation expenses that he'll incur when he moves into a new apartment or house.
The Maryland Lottery launched their lineup of Fast Play instant games last year, which included the $10 Lucky Numbers game. Lucky Numbers offers a top prize that starts at a base amount and increases with the sale of each ticket until a top-prize winning ticket is sold. The progressive top prize then resets to the base amount and starts increasing again. Players can win other prize amounts ranging from $10 to $50,000 in the Lucky Numbers Fast Play game.