Lottery Luck Strikes for Rockville Scratch-off Rookie

Claims first $30,000 top prize on $3 Crossword ticket

A Rockville resident who had very little experience playing Maryland Lottery scratch-offs was shocked to land a $30,000 prize last weekend.

The Montgomery County woman visited Metro Coffee Convenience in Rockville and decided to take her chances with a $3 Crossword scratch-off on the advice of another customer in the store.

“It was the last one of those they had, and he said, ‘Try this one,’ ” she said.

That turned out to be excellent advice, but she didn’t discover the full extent of her good fortune for another couple of days.

“I put the ticket in my pocket and left,” she said. The lucky woman returned to the store the next day to scan the prize check barcode on the instant ticket and find out how much she had won. However, the ticket checker message only instructed her to take the ticket to the Lottery to cash it.

“I knew I won a lot, but didn’t know how much – it was crazy when I found out,” she said. “I was wondering, ‘Is this real?’ ”

Tuesday afternoon, she was finally able to claim her prize – and none too soon. The lucky winner, who is employed as a nutritionist, needs to have the air conditioning in her car repaired.

“I’ve been driving around with no AC,” she said with a smile. “I’m going to fix the car and put the rest of the money in the bank.”

Metro Coffee Convenience, located at 202 Park Road in Rockville, will receive a $300 bonus for selling a top-prize winner. The Crossword scratch-off launched in July, and this was the first of its $30,000 top prizes claimed. There are still nine more $30,000 prizes, along with 21 $5,000 prizes and thousands of additional prizes ranging from $3 to $1,000.