Childhood Memories Lead to Purchase of $50,000 Winning Scratch-off

Wheaton man claims first top prize in LOTERIA™ Grande game

Selecting a Maryland Lottery scratch-off that reminded him of his childhood was a winning choice for a Montgomery County man. The lucky player landed the first $50,000 top-prize in the LOTERIA™ Grande game.

“When I was little, I played Loteria in my country,” said the Guatemala native, who has lived and worked in the United States for more than two decades. The Wheaton resident fondly remembers playing Loteria as a child. The Loteria game is similar to bingo but uses images on a deck of cards.

He bought the lucky scratch-off at Kensington Liberty at 10550 Connecticut Avenue in Kensington. “I was on my lunch break and decided to stop by,” said the winner, who works in construction, adding that he bought two tickets. “I took them to my job site to scratch.”

The 52-year-old was stunned at his results. “I didn’t believe it,” he said. “I never won that much in my life. The first thing I did was call my brother to share my happiness.”

The lucky winner and his brother scanned the ticket at a Lottery retailer to verify that it was a big winner. Then he locked up his winning scratch-off in his truck for a week until he could claim his prize at Lottery headquarters in Baltimore. “I checked on it every single day,” he said.

Even after claiming the prize and entering the Lottery Winner’s Circle, where he received a round of applause from Lottery staffers, the smiling player remained dubious about his win. “I still don’t believe it,” said the happy man. “It is a lot of money to win on a $5 ticket.”

There are seven more $50,000 top-prize winning scratch-offs in this game, which went on sale in March. Players can also look for thousands of other prizes ranging from $5 to $1,000.

The scratch-off fan has told no one other than his brother about his Lottery luck. He plans to celebrate quietly with friends and family members in coming weeks. He also plans to take a trip back to Guatemala, thanks to his windfall, to visit his mother and sister and other relatives.

His lucky Lottery retailer benefits from the big win, too. For selling a top-prize winning scratch-off in the game, Kensington Liberty earns a bonus of $500 from the Lottery. The bonus is equal to 1 percent of the prize.