Lady Luck Makes Baltimore Gal Her Valentine with $1,000-a-Week-for-Life Prize

Winner bought lucky ticket at grocery store on Valentine’s Day

Shopping for groceries on Valentine’s Day put a quiet Baltimore woman directly in the path of Lady Luck, who had a special gift ready for the next person buying a Cash4Life ticket for the Feb. 14 drawing.

The 41-year-old, who enjoys playing Cash4Life, Powerball and Mega Millions, wrapped up her grocery shopping at Giant #317 in Baltimore. She stopped on her way out to buy a $10 Cash4Life ticket for the Valentine’s Day drawing. The avid player selected two lines of personal numbers and let the terminal randomly — and luckily — pick three lines of numbers to complete her purchase.

The Baltimore City resident then tucked the ticket into her purse and headed home. “I usually forget to check the tickets,” she said. That wasn’t true on Valentine’s Day, however. After the drawing later that evening, she checked her numbers on her phone using the Lottery app.

The result was shocking! One line of the quick-pick numbers on her ticket appeared to match the winning numbers. Dubious about her apparent win, she took the ticket to her mom and then to her dad to check. Her parents verified the big win and the lucky lady carefully hid the ticket in a safe place. “I put it behind my graduation picture,” she said, smiling from ear to ear.

Saturday came and then Sunday and Monday, with no one the wiser about her Lottery luck except her parents and her sister. “I just went about my day,” she said. Tuesday came and the winner headed to Lottery headquarters in Baltimore to claim her prize with her parents by her side. She has no immediate plans for her windfall.

The Cash4Life second-tier prize of $1,000 a week for life is paid in annual installments of $52,000 (before taxes). The winner decided to take the annual payments, rather than the lump sum option which is $1 million (before taxes).

Also ready to celebrate is the lucky Baltimore City retailer. For selling a Cash4Life second-tier winning ticket, the Giant store at 4624 Edmondson Avenue will receive a $2,500 bonus from the Lottery.

The Maryland Lottery began selling Cash4Life tickets in January 2016, and this is the game’s third second-tier prize winner in Maryland. A Salisbury resident, “Bahama Mama,” claimed a top-tier prize of $1,000 a day for life last week to become the state’s third top-tier winner in the game.

Cash4Life started in 2014 in New York and New Jersey. The game is now available in nine states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. Tickets are $2, and drawings take place at 9 p.m. seven days a week. Players select five numbers from 1 to 60 and a Cash Ball number from 1 to 4.

There are nine prize tiers, ranging from $2 to the “for life” prizes of $1,000 a week and $1,000 a day. To win the top prize of $1,000 a day for life, players must match all six numbers that are drawn. Matching the first five numbers without matching the Cash Ball number delivers the second-tier prize. The game has awarded a total of 39 top prizes and 86 second-tier prizes.