Contractor Excavates $10,000 in Scratch-off Treasure

Baltimore resident wins big with Royal Gems game

232-Royal-Gems-ITVM_P1-purpleA building contractor from Baltimore unearthed $10,000 worth of buried treasure far from a construction site and without the use of excavation equipment. His valuable find came in the form of a winning Maryland Lottery Royal Gems scratch-off ticket!

Thomas Jasper Johnson plays instant tickets every now and then because they are a favorite with his construction crew.

“My guys play all the time,” he said. “We stop at a lot of stores for food and drinks.”

Thomas also plays Powerball and Mega Millions when jackpots climb but has never won a large amount. On his lucky day, the 56-year-old and his crew stopped at Royal Farms #90 located at 6311 Eastern Avenue in Baltimore. The native New Yorker bought the $20 instant ticket and returned to his vehicle to scratch it off.

When he unearthed the prize, he was stunned.

“I showed it to my guys and we couldn’t believe it,” Thomas said. He plans to spend his windfall renovating a Baltimore city property he bought as an investment. After working on residential properties in the area for 17 years, he sees the signs that Baltimore is enjoying a strong rebound.

“People don’t realize it but Baltimore is booming,” he said. In fact, the entrepreneur is so busy he was headed back to a job site to rejoin his crew after claiming his $10,000 prize.

There are still plenty of other prizes remaining on the Royal Gems scratch-off for players to find, including one $1 million top prize, two $50,000 prizes and seven more $10,000 prizes.