Christopher Squillario of Sykesville was all smiles as he claimed a $10,000 scratch-off prize on April Fools’ Day.
Scratch-off enthusiast finds a winner on $100,000 Gold Rush game
Christopher Squillario’s friends and co-workers thought he was having a bit of April Fools’ Day fun with them on Friday, April 1, but it wasn’t a joke. The Sykesville man really did win a $10,000 prize on the Maryland Lottery’s $100,000 Gold Rush scratch-off!
The 31-year-old, who works as a commercial window installer, was on his way to a job site when he stopped for coffee and a couple of scratch-offs at Royal Farms #112 located at 3505 Washington Boulevard in Baltimore. As an avid scratch-off player, Christopher has a system: He likes to scratch off the numbers on his tickets first to see if he has any matches. Then, he scratches off the prize values.
If his coffee failed to wake him up, the sight of a “20x” symbol on his $10 instant ticket certainly did the trick.
“I called a buddy of mine and told him about the 20x and said, ‘Have you ever seen one of these?’ ” Christopher said. “He didn’t believe me, so I FaceTimed him and showed him.”
Both Christopher and his friend quickly understood that this was no April Fools’ Day gag. That symbol meant that Christopher won 20 times the prize that was hiding below that 20x symbol.
“I scratched the first part of it and saw the 5, so I knew it was going to be at least $50, and then I didn’t see a decimal point, so I knew it was $500,” Christopher said.
His next few calls were to friends and an uncle in Pennsylvania who won a $1 million prize on a Pennsylvania Lottery scratch-off.
“I asked my uncle how long it took to settle in that he’d won a big amount,” Christopher said. “The most I’ve ever had before was $500 about a year ago.”
The Carroll County resident has been saving money to make a down payment on a house and said he planned to put his Lottery prize into his house fund. He also planned to splurge a little after claiming the prize on Friday afternoon.
“The party’s on tonight,” he said with a smile.
The $100,000 Gold Rush ticket went on sale in January. Four of its $100,000 top prizes are still unclaimed, along with seven $20,000 prizes, 14 $10,000 prizes and thousands of other prizes ranging from $10 to $500.