Woman from Cambodia using Maryland Lottery tickets to learn English wins $100,000

Mar 22, 2024, 3:00 pm (4 comments)

Maryland Lottery

The real goal is to expand vocabulary, winning is just a "bonus"

By Kate Northrop

ROCKVILLE, Md. — A Maryland woman originally from Cambodia who uses lottery tickets to help her learn English won a $100,000 prize while doing so.

Not only did an anonymous Maryland lottery player gain a richer vocabulary from scratch-off tickets, but she's $100,000 richer thanks to the unique method too.

There are countless reasons why lottery players gravitate toward certain scratch-off games. Maybe it's the shiny, colorful ticket that stands out, or perhaps it's a staple in a weekly routine. Some players enjoy a low-cost ticket to incorporate in a daily splurge, and others enjoy the thrill of a giant prize in exchange for a steeper price point.

A Maryland woman who originally hails from Cambodia has enjoyed picking out crossword-themed scratch-off tickets for a couple years now. In her case, she prefers them because they help expand her English vocabulary. She thought it would be a good way to learn new words, and if she ever won, it would just be a bonus.

That day finally arrived — a $10 "$100,000 Crossword" scratch-off ticket she bought about two weeks ago at Ollie's Beer Wine & Deli on Veirs Mill Road in Rockville won a $100,000 top prize.

The Beltsville woman visited Lottery headquarters in Baltimore this week to claim her prize while accompanied by her son, who translated for her and shared her story with the Maryland Lottery.

"She didn't believe it," her son told the Lottery on her behalf. "She's won small amounts in the past but was super excited about winning such a large amount this time."

At the time of the win, she suspected that she had won some sort of prize but wasn't entirely sure. She gave the ticket to her daughter to check, who relayed back to her mother that she had indeed won the game's $100,000 top prize.

When she shared the news with a few family members, her son helped her make an appointment with the Lottery to claim the prize in-person.

The winner, who works as a grocery store employee, said she plans on using the windfall to visit her home country and financially help family members as needed. She still plans on using crossword-themed tickets to practice her English as well.

Ollie's Beer Wine & Deli will receive a $1,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

This lucky player won the sixth $100,000 top prize in the $10 "$100,000 Crossword" game, leaving two out of eight top prizes for others to claim. There are also seven out of 13 second-tier prizes of $10,000 and seven out of 32 third-tier prizes of $1,000 remaining in the game, which launched in August 2023.

The odds of winning any prize in the game are 1 in 3.09.

Lottery Post Staff


Artist77's avatarArtist77

A creative and fun way to learn English.  Congratulations to her!!!

Coincidentally, I mentioned the other day how LP also served as an EASL class for an occasional member. Perfect timing.  Lottery playing can be educational.

sully16's avatarsully16

Congrats , enjoy your win and good luck with that English.


Very lucky lady.

Had seen one or two WOF contestants said they learned English by watching that game show.

English, if you follow all the rules, is a difficult language to grasp.  On Jeopardy! sometimes they will have grammar clues...I got none of them right.  Stationed in Deutschland one of my German friends would say 'You speak American, I speak English.'  Too bad we didn't keep in touch, though I tried.  Wonder what she would say with the English language being murdered in the USA.  (We refuse to say they/them, for instance, when it applies to one person).

Lotterologist's avatarLotterologist


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