$50,000 Winner Promotes Fire Safety after Hot Powerball Hit

This first responder from Westminster, who is an avid advocate for fire safety, picked up a $50,000 payday playing Powerball.

Westminster first responder wins big in March 27 drawing

Although thrilled about winning a $50,000 prize in the March 27 Powerball drawing, a first responder from Westminster who works at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg is even happier talking about protecting homes and lives from fire. In fact, he’s so focused on the issue, he chose the nickname “Fire Sprinklers Save Lives” for publicity purposes.

The winner’s smokin’ hot story about his big win begins on March 25, when the Powerball jackpot had rolled to $750 million. “Fire Sprinklers” went to Jubilee Foods that day at 515 East Main Street in Emmitsburg to pick up a few items. An employee behind the counter was already standing by the Maryland Lottery terminal, so he asked for two Powerball numbers and handed her a $20 bill.

“She asked if they could be on the same ticket, and I said it doesn’t matter; it’s a donation,” recalls the 51-year-old occasional player. “She kissed the tickets and handed them to me.”

That was on the Monday before the Wednesday drawing in which a player from Wisconsin won the $768.4 million jackpot. Flash forward to the Saturday after the drawing and “Fire Sprinklers” was out with a friend. The two men stopped at a store near “Fire Sprinklers’” home. The Carroll County resident remembered the two tickets he stashed in his vehicle and grabbed them to see if they were winners.

Using the ticket scanner in the store, “Fire Sprinklers” checked the first ticket and was thrilled to win $8. Then, he scanned the second quick-pick ticket and the number stopped him in his tracks. He told his pal the ticket was worth $50,000.

“He said, ‘Yeah, right,” ’ recalled “Fire Sprinklers,” who scanned the ticket again to prove its value to his astonished friend. On Monday, April 1, the winner returned to the Emmitsburg Jubilee to shop and the same clerk was working.

“I asked her if there was anything going on and she said, ‘Yeah, we sold a $50,000 Lottery ticket. Was it you?’ I kind of mumbled,” he recalls. After paying for his groceries, the happy winner told the clerk, “I want to give you a hug” and also gave her $100. She was somewhat baffled because April 1, by coincidence, is the clerk’s birthday. She wasn’t sure how he would have known the date’s significance and wondered aloud what was behind all of his attention.

The winner confirmed that he had bought the $50,000 prize-winning ticket and said, “You’re the one who sold it to me and kissed the tickets for luck, so I wanted to say thanks.”

Though tickled by his winnings, “Fire Sprinklers Save Lives” has no major plans for the windfall. He plans to pay off some bills, put new gutters on his home and sock the rest away for a rainy day. As for celebrating the win, he and a friend planned to swing by World of Beer in Baltimore after they finished claiming his prize at Maryland Lottery headquarters.