Lottery Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Milestone Home Run and $1 Million ‘Thanks’ to Players

Barbara Phelps Anderson of Shady Side visited Lottery Headquarters in Baltimore on May 17, the morning after the Orioles’ 50th home run of the 2023 season made her a big winner.

Lottery to award more than 15,000 cash vouchers to customers on 50th anniversary of first drawing

May 16 was an exciting evening for longtime Baltimore Orioles fan Barbara Phelps Anderson of Shady Side, and on May 24, there will be excitement across the state as the Maryland Lottery awards more than $1 million in cash vouchers to players as part of its 50th anniversary celebration.

Anderson was the Home Run Riches Contestant of the Game for the Baltimore Orioles’ May 16 game against the Los Angeles Angels, and she won $51,500 as the Orioles hit a pair of home runs, including their 50th of the season. The popular annual promotion awards $500 to each Contestant of the Game and an additional $500 for each home run the Orioles hit. But this year, with the Lottery celebrating 50 years, the promotion also includes two $50,000 prizes, the first of which went to Anderson, who was the Contestant of the Game when the Orioles reached the 50-home-run plateau for the season.

The O’s began the week with 45 home runs, but slugged three against Angels star pitcher Shohei Ohtani on Monday night. Then on Tuesday, Ryan O’Hearn made it 49 with a second-inning homer, and Ryan Mountcastle hit No. 50 in the sixth inning, delivering a $50,000 prize for Anderson.

“I was thinking, ‘Is this real?’ It felt like a dream. I’d like to thank Ryan Mountcastle,” said Anderson, who has been an Orioles fan for many years and was fortunate enough to attend Game 1 of the 1983 World Series at Memorial Stadium between O’s and the Philadelphia Phillies. A love for the Orioles runs in the family. Anderson said that while watching the games on TV, she frequently gets on the phone with her grandson, an Air Force veteran who follows the Orioles from a military base in Kuwait, where he is now a civilian contractor.

The Contestant of the Game Promotion continues with monthly drawings throughout the baseball season, and will award its other $50,000 prize in its final drawing on Aug. 29.

Lottery says ‘Thanks for Playing’ with $1 million worth of cash vouchers

Meanwhile, next week the Lottery will commemorate the 50th anniversary of its first drawing with the Thanks for Playing Promotion. The Lottery held its inaugural drawing on May 24, 1973, when the Twin Win game delivered a $50,000 prize. Fifty years later, the Lottery will mark that historic day by giving away more than 15,000 cash vouchers to Lottery customers with a total value of more than $1 million.

“We’re having a lot of fun with our 50th anniversary year, and May 24, in particular, is a landmark date in our history,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin. “We’re excited to celebrate the occasion and say ‘thank you’ to our players across the state.”

On May 24, vouchers valued at either $50 or $500 will be awarded statewide throughout the day with random purchases of draw game tickets or FAST PLAY tickets. Draw games include Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Bonus Match 5, Multi-Match, Keno, Racetrax, Powerball, Mega Millions and Cash4Life. To have a chance to receive a voucher, all Lottery customers need to do is play their favorite games on May 24.

Voucher recipients will see a “Congratulations” message at the top of the ticket they purchased to inform them if they won a voucher. The voucher will then be printed by the Lottery terminal or self-service vending machine immediately after the ticket is printed.

The Lottery is also celebrating a half-century with the 50th Anniversary Cash Bash Promotion. Lottery players can enter $50 worth of any eligible draw game and FAST PLAY tickets, or non-winning scratch-off tickets into their My Lottery Rewards accounts for a chance to win cash prizes in monthly drawings. The Lottery will also select 10 finalists who will participate in the Cash Bash event at the Maryland State Fair in September. Each finalist will win at least $10,000, and one of them will have a chance to win up to $5 million.

To learn more about the Maryland Lottery’s 50th anniversary celebration and promotions, visit