$50,000 Deluxe Crossword Winner Skeptical of Scratch-off Prize

Rechecks results until convinced of her good fortune

When Yvonne Hopewell of Baltimore first found out the Deluxe Crossword scratch-off she bought was worth $50,000, she had to check again. Then, the skeptical winner had to check a few more times.

Yvonne’s score came after she changed up her play routine. Her go-to Lottery game is Racetrax, but occasionally she plays scratch-off games. Over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, she stopped by 7-Eleven #27739 at 729 East 25th Street in Baltimore, which is not her usual place to buy Maryland Lottery games. “It was the first time I went in there,” she said.

Then, there was the matter of chance when it came to picking a scratch-off game to play. The 53-year-old was thinking about playing Gold Bar Bingo, which is a $5 game like Deluxe Crossword, but the clerk handed her the Deluxe Crossword instant ticket. “It’s the one he pulled out and I decided to keep it. I’m glad I did!” she said.

Rather than playing the crossword games, Yvonne went straight to the Prize Check area at the top of the instant ticket. She scratched it off and scanned it with her smartphone using the Maryland Lottery app. The message said to take the scratch-off to the retailer, so Yvonne went back into the 7-Eleven and used the store ticket checker to scan the instant ticket. The scanner said the scratch-off was a $50,000 top-prize winner.

“I didn’t believe it,” she said, adding that she scanned it again only to see the $50,000 prize message reappear. The lucky lady returned to her car, but then went back into the store and asked the clerk to scan the scratch-off. He confirmed her big win, Yvonne recalls, adding, “He asked me if that was the ticket he just sold me.” It was, of course! Yvonne got back in her car and headed home until doubts about her Lottery luck resurfaced. She detoured to a gas station to check the scratch-off again.

“I guess God just said, ‘It’s your turn,’ ” Yvonne said. After that, it was just a matter of heading to Lottery headquarters with her daughter Lakisha Watson and grandson Amari Watson, 2, to claim the prize.

The winner planned to celebrate her luck with a seafood meal prominently featuring crab cakes. A new car is also under consideration, and motioning to her daughter and grandson, Yvonne said, “You know they’re going on a shopping spree.”

Also in the winner’s circle is the lucky 7-Eleven that sold the instant ticket. For selling a $50,000 top-prize winning scratch-off, the Baltimore store earns a bonus of $500 from the Lottery. The bonus is equal to 1 percent of the prize.