By Stephanie Timmons
Stephanie won the Game Day Ticket Package vs Patriots
Pulling an all-nighter doing college work really has its benefits. That’s how I found out that I had won a Maryland Lottery Ravens Cash Fantasy Prize. I had stayed late at work to complete a tedious college essay. Needing a break from school work, something (perhaps fate) told me to check the Maryland Lottery Ravens website. I scrolled down the winners list, just curious to see if anyone from Salisbury had won. I was shocked to say the least when I saw “Stephanie Timmons from Salisbury”. For a moment I was thinking, could there be another Stephanie Timmons in Salisbury that entered the second chance drawing. I immediately checked my cell phone voicemail. This of all times was when I regretted not setting up my phone to notify me when I had a voicemail. I plugged in my voicemail code and heard the most wonderful message ever “Congratulations, you won….”. Sitting alone, with no one to share my excitement with, I put my phone on speaker phone and hit replay. I listened to this message at least three times, each time my smile getting bigger. I then picked up the work phone, called my husband, and played the message once again for him. He was just as excited as I was, but told me afterwards that he didn’t believe me and checked the winner’s website to see it with his own eyes.
I went to the lottery office in Baltimore to claim my prize. It was exciting to walk into the room and see the over sized check with my name on it – I felt famous. As they reviewed the prize with me, I got even more excited. I had never been to a professional football game before. What a way to experience my first game with a parking pass, VIP field passes, Club seating and $100 Ravens bucks!
I knew I had a choice to make – who to take with me. My husband seemed like the obvious choice, but he and I decided that it would an amazing experience if I took my mother instead. My mother, (a retired physical education teacher, coach, and former Baltimore Colts fan, was surprised and excited when I told her she was going to be my guest. She also had never attended a professional football game.
Prior to the game I contacted friends to borrow Ravens jerseys for me and my mother – we had to go in style. On game day we were ready to cheer on the Ravens. Much to my surprise, my football experience began the moment we entered the parking lot. I was amazed to see the comradery amongst the tailgating fans. Everyone was pumped for the game and their energy was contagious. We went in to the stadium and were directed to the ramp that led to the field. Walking through the tunnel onto the field was such an amazing experience. I was in such awe that I forgot to take pictures for the first few minutes. We stood on the sideline as the players were warming up. I had watched football on television, but this seemed even closer than the camera men got. My mother kept pointing out the players to me, as if I didn’t see them 10 feet in front of me. I tried to take a moment and look up in the stands. While standing within 10 feet of Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, and Michael Oher, I was staring at thousands of screaming fans that would have done anything to trade places with me. I tried to remember this feeling, as I knew it would be unlikely to ever happen again.
After leaving the field we were directed to our club level seats. I was very excited to sit among some true die hard Ravens fans. I feel like I was able to experience everything that a football game entailed – I even got to see a streaker run across the field. After the first quarter I decided to take a walk through the club level – I mean I did have $100 Ravens bucks to spend. I treated myself and my mother to a delicious crab cake sandwich and beer. I then added to my Ravens attire with some new items from the fan shop. My favorite is my new Ravens hat.
To make the perfect ending to this football fantasy – the Ravens were victorious over the Patriots. The down side to this whole experience – it will be difficult to watch football on television after being on the field standing next to the players.
There are so many things that I experienced that day that I failed to mention. I was just trying to recap my most memorable moments. I try to pass along the knowledge of the second chance opportunities. I saw some ladies the other day that were throwing away their losing Ravens scratch off tickets. I stopped them and explained how to enter the second chance drawing. They tried to give me the two second chance ticket stubs. I insisted they enter them and try to win an amazing prize like I had.
Thank you Maryland Lottery for a truly unforgettable experience!!!