Air Force vet wins game’s $50,000 top prize
A Baltimore County man followed the numbers until they added up to a whole lot of winning this week. A 71-year-old calling himself “The Loadmaster” found the number 9 to be the key to his success. He won a $50,000 top prize while playing the Maryland Lottery’s Find the 9s scratch-off.
The retired cybersecurity professional and Air Force veteran explained how he managed to uncover the top-prize winning scratch-off this week. “The Loadmaster” was on his deck, scratching a recently purchased Find the 9s game, when he uncovered a $5,000 prize. That first prize was quickly followed by several more – ultimately nine more $5,000 prizes, making him the second Lottery player to win $50,000 with the Find the 9s scratch-off.
He said the excitement of the win was initially overwhelming. “The Loadmaster” was searching for words and only finding expletives. He sat there for a bit, looking at his instant ticket in disbelief, before heading to a Lottery retailer to confirm his good fortune.
“I asked them ‘Is this thing real?’” said the winner. Soon after, he got his answer. The clerk affirmed the win and “The Loadmaster” called a good friend to share the news.
“The Loadmaster” picked his Lottery winner alias as a tribute to his time in the military. His job involved carefully balancing loads of the gargantuan C-5 Galaxy military transport planes. According to the winner, his time in the service took him around the world at least six times on a variety of delivery and transport missions.
The lucky Baltimore resident told Lottery officials that the $50,000 prize would help him pay off bills and add to his savings.
He bought the lucky instant ticket at the Soda Pop Shop located at 1026 Ingleside Avenue in Catonsville. For its role in the big win, the store earned a $500 retailer bonus from the Lottery.