Paul Hooper Jr. is the talk of Taneytown after winning $1 million on a scratch-off.
Describes biggest win yet as ‘Experience of a Lifetime’
After a recent spate of good luck, Paul Hooper Jr. of Pennsylvania thought things couldn’t get better. That was before the 62-year-old retiree had the “experience of a lifetime,” winning $1 million playing a Maryland Lottery Max A Million scratch-off.
The jubilant former construction worker reports that his lucky win follows a months-long string of good fortune that produced several large prizes. These include a $5,000 win and a $10,000 prize on one of The Price is Right® instant tickets, which he claimed along with his $1 million win.
“I’m playing with my mad money, using a personal lucky charm and it seems to be working,” said the Gettysburg resident. “Winning big was always my fantasy and then it happened.”
The day of his $1 million win, Paul purchased several scratch-offs from Liquor Barn in Taneytown. The lucky store is his favorite Maryland Lottery retailer, the loyal player said. He retreated to the parking lot to scratch off the instant tickets in the cab of his truck. When he scratched off the $20 Max A Million game, Paul revealed a matching number and underneath it a prize with a whole lot of zeros.
“When I saw those skinny zeroes, I knew it was a big prize,” he said.
Paul rushed back into the store, short of breath, to share his excitement with the employees. “I thought I might have an attack right there,” Paul said. “I shouted that I had just hit the friggin’ big one!”
Paul’s win is already the talk of Taneytown. When people mention that the latest local scratch-off winner landed a $1 million prize, Paul is quick to tell them that he is that lucky player. The reality of the win is still sinking in, Paul told Maryland Lottery officials. The new millionaire plans to focus on spending his prize in ways to improve his retirement. “I want to use most of the prize as a nest egg so that we can lay back and relax,” he said. Paul and his wife may also celebrate their upcoming 45th wedding anniversary with a luxurious trip to Hawaii.
The $20 Max A Million scratch-off launched with seven $1 million prizes when it went on sale in November. This win leaves the $20 game with four more unclaimed $1 million top prizes, eight $50,000 prizes and hundreds of thousands of other prizes ranging from $20 to $10,000.
Also sharing in the celebration is the Liquor Barn, which is located at 520 East Baltimore Street in Taneytown. For selling a top-prize winning scratch-off of $1 million, the Carroll County store earns a $1,000 bonus from the Lottery.