‘Lucky Mistake’ Leads to $50,000 Lottery Prize for 14 Co-workers

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Fourteen co-workers from Tower Federal Credit Union in Laurel were all smiles as they claimed a $50,000 Bonus Match 5 prize.

Group intended to buy Multi-Match tickets, won top Bonus Match 5 prize instead

An honest mistake by a Maryland Lottery retailer was just about the best thing that could have happened to a group of 14 co-workers at Tower Federal Credit Union in Laurel. They won the $50,000 top prize in the Bonus Match 5 game – which they hadn’t planned to play!

Members of the group have pooled their money for the last two years to purchase Lottery tickets. Their favorite game is Multi-Match, Maryland’s in-state jackpot game that is played on Mondays and Thursdays. On Feb. 11, the group’s leader visited Latela’s Discount Liquors in Hanover to buy Multi-Match tickets for that night’s drawing and Lottery luck intervened.

“There was a new girl working there and she gave me Bonus Match 5 tickets instead,” the group leader said. “So, we got tickets for the wrong game. We didn’t have Multi-Match tickets, so I didn’t even check them.”

Bonus Match 5 drawings are held nightly, featuring a top prize of $50,000. When the group’s leader made her next visit to Latela’s Discount Liquors, she heard that a $50,000-winning Bonus Match 5 ticket had been sold there.

“The clerk got me excited, and then I did check,” she said. The happy winner started spreading the word to the rest of the group: That $50,000 ticket was theirs!

“I thought she was playing a joke on me,” said another group member.

One member of the group received the good news while in California on vacation. “It was 5:30 in the morning California time and I got a text saying, ‘Call me ASAP,’ ” she said. “I didn’t know what to think.”

The co-workers were all smiles as they claimed their prize at Lottery headquarters in Baltimore on March 3. Members of the group reside in Baltimore, Brooklyn Park, Gambrills, Glen Burnie, Jessup, Pasadena and Severn. Each will receive $2,366 after taxes. Among the plans some of them have for the money are buying new truck tires, making a down payment on a new car, installing a new driveway, taking a vacation to Las Vegas, buying cruise tickets and paying for baby expenses.

They’re also still chasing the Multi-Match jackpot. Although it was early on a Thursday morning when they visited Lottery headquarters, they already had tickets for that night’s drawing.

Latela’s Discount Liquors is a winner as well. For selling the “mistaken” Bonus Match 5 top-prize ticket, the retailer located at 2733 Annapolis Road in Hanover will receive a $500 bonus from the Lottery.