A Maryland Lottery Win in Arizona

Melissa McGee - Hit it big_webMelissa McGee (right) of Tucson, Ariz., won $10,000 on a scratch-off ticket that her mother Pamela McGee (left) gave to her during a trip home to Maryland.

Tucson woman returns home for Thanksgiving, claims $10,000 scratch-off prize

Melissa McGee left Maryland earlier this year, moving to Arizona to run an entertainment company. She was back in town for the Thanksgiving holiday, but also to cash the $10,000 Hit It Big scratch-off ticket her mother gave her as a going-away present back in May.

“I came home a few months ago to attend the funeral of a close family friend,” Melissa said. “My mom handed me a lottery ticket when she dropped me off at the airport afterward. I didn’t get a chance to play it until I was back in Arizona.”

Melissa, 30, plays only occasionally, usually when her mother buys tickets.

“She almost always buys me one when we’re together,” she said.

After unpacking in Arizona, Melissa finally scratched her Hit It Big ticket. When she saw the results, she was not convinced that she had in fact hit it big.

“I was sure that it was a joke ticket, that it was fake,” she said. “So I called my mom back in Maryland.”

Receiving assurances that the ticket was genuine, Melissa put it safely away.

“My mom kept track of when it might expire, so I knew it could wait for my Thanksgiving visit, so here I am!” she said.

In fact, Melissa and her mom made Lottery Headquarters their first stop upon leaving BWI Airport.

Paying bills and a vacation with her mom next year are at the top of Melissa’s list of plans for her winnings. Her winning ticket was purchased at the Citgo gas station at 14807 Crain Highway in Brandywine. The $20 Hit It Big game was launched in June and still has two remaining $1 million top prizes, two $50,000 prizes and 17 more $10,000 prizes waiting to be claimed.