Crofton resident randomly chosen from more than 1.5 million entries
On Wednesday morning, Umang Patel was getting ready to drive to the Ravens Under Armour Performance Center. There, he would join five other Maryland Lottery finalists to find out who won the coveted “Seats for 20 Years” prize. But as any on-call doctor will tell you, plans can change in a heartbeat, which is exactly what happened that day.
“I was very disappointed when I found out I had to miss out on the excitement,” the 29-year-old medical resident said. “But I was called into work at the hospital, so I had to go.”
While the other finalists learned, that day, they had not won the big prize, Lottery officials kept the secret from Umang just a little longer.
“We really wanted to surprise him,” said Lottery spokesperson, Carole Gentry. “There’s nothing like seeing the winner’s face when they learn that they won Ravens seats for 20 years.”
Lottery officials contacted Umang and told him he needed to come to Lottery headquarters to retrieve his prize pack from Wednesday’s event. Umang agreed to stop by, and the wheels were set in motion.
The unsuspecting winner walked into the Lottery’s “Winner’s Circle” to the sound of cheers as the purple-clad crowd, and Ravens mascot Poe, threw confetti and clapped loudly. Umang was stunned to see his name written across the oversized check as the winner of the “Seats for 20 Years” prize.
“This is one of the greatest moments of my life,” Umang said with a wide grin. Not surprisingly, the doctor of internal medicine added, “My heart is beating really hard – about 200 beats per minute.”
The “Seats for 20 Years” prize includes two club level tickets, along with parking, to every pre-season and regular-season home game for the next 20 years.
The six finalists were randomly selected from more than 1.5 million entries. Each finalist won $10,000 and received a tour of the Ravens training facility. The other finalists were: Fatima Akter of Catonsville; Kimberleigh Cherry of Dundalk; Zohaib Ijaz of Snow Hill; Regina Northrup of Dundalk; and Kay Rivers of Hyattsville.
The 2018 season marked the 10th consecutive year that the Lottery and the Baltimore Ravens have partnered on scratch-off tickets and a second-chance promotion. Players entered non-winning $2 and $5 Ravens scratch-offs into their My Lottery Rewards accounts. Once a ticket was submitted, participants could select which prize drawing they wanted to enter, including “Seats for 20 Years.” Additional prizes included trips with the team to 2018 road games in Atlanta and Kansas City, season tickets for one year and cash. A total of 4.7 million entries were received for these drawings.
Past winners of the “Seats for 20 Years” include Kim Feather from Pasadena; Dawn Brink from Stevensville; Vanessa Williams from Rosedale; Beth Bunch from Baltimore; Vernon Miller, Jr. from Bel Air; Tuesday Johnson from Germantown; Brenda Grier from Glen Burnie; Ariadna Bila from Gaithersburg; and David Williams from Clinton.