Essex Woman’s Grocery Trip Turns into $1 Million ‘Money Explosion’

Essex winner “Taco Tuesday,” right, collected a spicy $1 million top prize from a Money Explosion scratch-off.

Tuesday trip for taco supplies takes a twist with scratch-off win

A Baltimore County woman’s trip to the grocery for taco supplies will go down in her family’s history as the most rewarding errand ever. A $20 Money Explosion scratch-off she bought to pass the time as she shopped contained a blow-your-socks-off surprise. As she rounded the aisles, the Essex resident revealed a top prize on the scratch-off, becoming the new game’s first $1 million winner.

“Taco Tuesday,” as the happy player dubbed herself for publicity, detailed to Lottery officials how the moment unfolded. She explained that she often purchases scratch-offs when she visits Food Lion #1653 in Baltimore. On this trip, “Taco Tuesday” selected two of the new Money Explosion scratch-offs from the store’s Lottery kiosk. When one of the pair of tickets won $20, she opted for a third chance to win big. As she picked up the taco shells and seasonings for the family’s Tuesday night meal, the loyal scratch-off player slowly revealed the crucial parts of the instant ticket so that she could scan the game’s prize check barcode.

“I almost never do that,” she said.

Usually, she takes her time to reveal the winning numbers on each of her instant tickets. When she saw she had won and then saw the prize amount her phone was displaying, “Taco Tuesday” hurriedly scratched off the rest of the instant ticket in an effort to make sense of what she was seeing. She found the matching number and, underneath it, a $1 million prize.

Needing a lifeline, she called her husband. He recalls being initially a bit worried with her call.

“I was whispering and all I could say at first was, ‘I can’t shop anymore,’” said Taco Tuesday. The stunned winner later managed a few more phrases, explaining that she had won and that they were now getting takeout.

“Taco Tuesday” explained that the win had incredible timing. The small business she operates was severely impacted by the pandemic and she plans to use her prize to help the business recover. She said she also plans to use her winnings to expand her business and as savings for her children’s education.

The seller of the lucky instant ticket, Food Lion #1653, is located at 1565 Hyde Park Road in Baltimore. The store will receive a $1,000 retailer bonus from the Lottery for selling a winning scratch-off of $1 million.

The Money Explosion game launched July 19. It features prizes from $20 to $50,000 plus the $1 million top prize. With this win, the game now has six $1 million prizes remaining along with eight $50,000 prizes and 109 $10,000 prizes.