Laurel Chef Wins $50,000 with Free Pick 5 Ticket

Received ticket through 50th Anniversary Lottery Week promotion

A special one-week Lottery promotion that awards free tickets at random to players dished up a $50,000 surprise to a chef from Laurel.

The 50th Anniversary Lottery Week promotion, now in progress through Saturday, July 22, is another way the Lottery is saying thank you to its players during this special year. The lucky $50,000 winner, who chose to remain anonymous after claiming his prize, selected the nickname “Chef G” to tell the story of his brush with Lottery luck.

“Chef G” was playing his daily numbers when he received a free Pick 5 ticket for the July 16 midday drawing. The 46-year-old plays the Lottery two or three times a week. “It’s nice to win big after all these years,” he said.

The Anne Arundel County resident told Lottery officials that he was running errands when he stopped at Starting Gate Liquors in Laurel to buy Lottery tickets. He claims something felt out of the ordinary that day. “Chef G” typically plays combinations of his birthdate for his numbers but on his way into the store, something told him to play a special license plate number he had seen throughout the day. He received the free Pick 5 ticket along with his purchases.

“Chef G” left the store before scanning the tickets. He arrived home and scanned his tickets using the Lottery app on his phone. When he scanned the free ticket, the app revealed he won the game’s top prize of $50,000 on a $1 straight bet.

“I screamed at the top of my lungs!” he said. “My wife rushes in the room, thinking I was hurt or something was wrong. Once I showed her (the ticket), she started screaming and celebrating with me.”

The lucky winner plans to put his $50,000 prize to good use. He will invest in a food truck, make some other investments, put money aside for his family and a future grandchild and take his wife on a nice vacation.

Also in the money is the lucky Anne Arundel County Lottery retailer. Starting Gate Liquors located at 3495 Laurel Fort Meade Road will receive a $500 bonus from the Lottery for its role in our player’s $50,000 win.

The Lottery’s promotion continues through Saturday. Players could receive a free Lottery game, excluding scratch-offs, when they play any draw or FAST PLAY game. Free tickets are awarded on an nth ticket basis across the state and print immediately following the purchased ticket.