‘Gator’ Swimming in Cash after Last-Minute Scratch-off Purchase

Lucky “Gator” of Rockville and members of his family claimed the first $100,000 top prize on the $100,000 Jackpot game.

Finds top-prize $100,000 win on $5 game

Playing Maryland Lottery scratch-offs is a favorite hobby for a Rockville father of five, who often passes the time with a game or two during his lunch breaks. “Gator,” which is his family nickname, said he didn’t sink his teeth into a big prize until he stopped at Tex’s Place in Rockville during lunch. Even then, the $100,000 win almost didn’t happen!

The inspiration to play one more scratch-off hit just as “Gator” was preparing to return to his job as an auto body repairman. He had already played a few games, with little luck, but had $5 in his pocket and time to spare.

The Montgomery County resident spotted the Lottery’s new $5 game, $100,000 Jackpot and thought about trying his luck one more time. The $100,000 Jackpot game is part of a four-member scratch-off family of games that arrived in stores May 21. The family includes the $10 $200,000 Jackpot game, $2 $20,000 Jackpot game and $1 $2,000 Jackpot game.

“I thought, ‘I have an extra $5, so why not buy it?’ ” said the grandfather of one. Thanks to that decision, “Gator” is swimming in cash! He found the first of six $100,000 top prizes on the $100,000 Jackpot scratch-off. The quiet player scratched the game off in the store and at first, thought he discovered a $10,000 prize.

“I don’t believe it,” he said, so he called one of his sons to share his news. “Gator Jr.” was surprised at the call.

“My dad called me out of nowhere,” the son reported. “He said, ‘What are you doing tomorrow? I need to go to Baltimore. I think I won $10,000 on a scratch-off.’ ” As they talked more, however, “Gator” looked closer at the winning instant ticket and realized it carried a much larger prize. “He’s like, ‘I think it’s $100,000! I can’t sleep tonight!’ ” the son said.

The next day found a sleepy “Gator,” his wife, four of his children and a grandson at Lottery headquarters to celebrate the big win and claim the prize together. His plans for the windfall, his son said, include buying a new vehicle for business.

Also enjoying a winning windfall is the lucky Lottery retailer that sold the top-prize scratch-off. Tex’s Place located at 14630 Southlawn Lane in Rockville earns a $1,000 bonus from the Lottery. Congratulations!