Longtime Use of Pick 5 Number Leads to $200,000 Prize

Severna Park’s John Ambrose used a clerk’s Pick 5 ticket error to win $200,000.

Anne Arundel County man wins on four tickets in May 16 drawing

John Ambrose of Severna Park’s dedicated use of Pick 5 numbers issued by mistake nearly a year ago helped him win $200,000 on May 16. He can thank a store clerk for his latest win, as well as a $10,000 Pick 5 prize scored on the same numbers last year.

His lucky Pick 5 saga starts in 2022, when the Lottery began offering the game. The 67-year-old recalls wanting to use a five-digit number with four 7s and a different number in the middle. While watching a TV program, John saw the number 77377 displayed and started to play that number in Pick 5 games.

One night, the avid hunter was purchasing a Pick 5 ticket and a store clerk accidently gave him the numbers 77477 instead of 77377. The clerk also didn’t key in a $1 straight bet. “He made a mistake and it came out boxed,” the Anne Arundel County resident said.

John won $10,000 in that June 19, 2023 evening drawing, thanks to the clerk’s error. The big win motivated John to keep playing 77477. Less than a year later, on May 16, he received another pleasant surprise while seeing a TV station scroll the winning Pick 5 numbers.

“I glanced up at the Lottery numbers and saw that my number came out straight. I couldn’t believe it,” John said.

The top prize on a $1 Pick 5 straight bet is $50,000, but he prefers purchasing four $1 tickets for each drawing. His routine resulted in the $200,000 total prize. John owns a tree service company and said he will invest the windfall into his company.

Royal Farms at 517 Ritchie Highway in Severna Park sold John his May 16 batch of lucky tickets. Since he had four top-prize winners, the Lottery quadruples the Anne Arundel County retailer’s bonus from $500 to $2,000.