In the Money Scratch-off Lives Up to its Name, Delivers $100,000 Top Prize

Baltimore grandfather plans to share winnings with family members

Whenever his adult kids or his wife ask what gift he would like for his birthday or the holidays, a Baltimore man always responds with one word: “scratch-offs,” his wife said.

A scratch-off he purchased for himself brought the husband and wife to the Winner’s Circle at Lottery headquarters in Baltimore this week. Although he has won small prizes over the years, his recent $100,000 prize on the In the Money scratch-off is his biggest windfall yet.

The retired manufacturing worker’s journey to good fortune began when he visited Royal Farms #015 in Baltimore on a Sunday to buy scratch-offs. The Baltimore County store has two self-serve Lottery vending machines and another customer was buying tickets at the machine he typically uses, so he went to the second machine.

“When the new tickets come out, I usually play them,” he said. But the second machine had older games and none of his favorite new games. “I was frustrated,” he said, so he randomly selected two In the Money tickets. That $10 game went on sale in February.

He took the tickets home and said he sat down to enjoy a jelly doughnut before scratching them off. The first ticket carried a $100,000 top prize.

He immediately called his brother to share his great news and tried to reach his children and his wife by phone. She and their daughter were in church and his wife had turned off her phone. Luckily, his son-in-law answered the call and was available to help verify the big win. The two men decided to take a photo of the winner holding the lucky scratch-off and texted the image to family members.

Church services were over when the daughter urged her mom to check her text messages. “I got scared, I thought something was wrong,” the wife said. Then, she saw the photo of her husband with the winning ticket.

“We were all dumbfounded,” he said. They are both retired now, so the $100,000 prize “is a nice cushion,” said the wife. They also plan to distribute some of the funds to their children and grandchildren.

For selling a $100,000 top-prize winning scratch-off, Royal Farms #015 at 1601 Middleborough Road in Essex will receive a $1,000 bonus from the Lottery. In the Money still has four more $100,000 prizes remaining unclaimed, along with five $20,000 prizes, 13 $10,000 prizes, and thousands of additional prizes ranging from $10 to $1,000.