Happy Accident Gives Florida Visitor a $16,004 Keno Win

Paula Cowie - Keno_webPaula Cowie of Florida mistakenly played a set of birth dates twice to win a big Keno prize.

Former Marylander’s playslip mistake pays off

Paula Cowie of West Palm Beach returned home to Maryland last week to visit her mom, who has been ill, and somehow caught a severe case of Lottery luck!

One of many things the 10-year Florida resident misses about our state is playing Maryland Lottery Keno. No wonder her choice of a place to dine was Lottery retailer Bill Bateman’s Bistro in Baltimore, where Paula could enjoy playing a few games of Keno with her meal.

The 44-year-old chose a series of family birth dates to play for her happy return to her favorite game. Although the first game wasn’t a particularly lucky one for her, Paula wasn’t discouraged. She filled out a few additional Keno playslips to try before finishing dinner. Later, when she was about to leave, Paula asked the clerk to check her Keno tickets.

“The cashier told me that there was a winning ticket that they couldn’t pay,” she said. “I knew that meant it was a big one!”

A quick look at the lucky ticket surprised Paula even more. “Somehow, that first ticket – the family birthday playslip – got mixed in with the other ones. I hadn’t meant to play it again.”

That happy accident produced a $16,004 win for the Florida restaurant employee.

“I was just stunned,” Paula told Lottery officials. “My mom couldn’t believe it, no one could.”

She plans to address hospital bills first with her prize and put the remainder of her winnings into a rainy day fund. “I’ll be in Maryland for another week or so and will definitely be playing some more Keno,” she said. “I’m hoping to be back for another big check soon!”

Also a winner is Bill Bateman’s Bistro located at 8810 Waltham Woods Road. For selling a winning Keno ticket over $10,000, the retailer will receive a $160 bonus from the Lottery.