Machine Hiccup Combines with $30,000 Bonus Crossword Win

Hagerstown couple walk away with game’s first top prize

Could a machine malfunction lead to a $30,000 scratch-off win? No one knows for sure, but a Hagerstown couple said it’s quite possible.

Last Friday, the Washington County husband was grocery shopping at Weis Markets #167 in Hagerstown. Knowing his wife loves scratch-offs, he made sure to stop at the store’s Lottery vending machine to purchase instant tickets. He bought three $3 Bonus Crossword games and nine $1 scratch-offs. The machine dispersed all of the scratch-offs except for one of the Bonus Crossword games. That instant ticket got stuck.

“I called the cashier over to open the machine and the missing ticket just fell down,” said the husband.

The retired firefighter grabbed all of his games and took them home to his wife to scratch. One of them won $100, but nothing prepared the pair for what came next.

“I thought I was counting the words wrong,” she said, perplexed. “I told my husband, ‘I think I won,’ but I thought it was only $1,000.”

The couple took the winning instant ticket back to Weis Markets to have it scanned and the cashier delivered great news. The scratch-off was not worth $1,000, but a whopping $30,000!

“Maybe the ticket that was stuck was the winning ticket,” said the husband, with a grin. “It could have been, who knows for sure.”

Another interesting twist to this winning story is that the cashier who unlocked the vending machine to retrieve the stuck scratch-off was the same cashier who scanned the winning $30,000 game. Their win also happens to be the very first top prize claimed on the Bonus Crossword scratch-off.

The couple, still amazed, told Lottery officials that they secured the scratch-off in a safe and spent the entire weekend laughing about what happened to them. The winning duo plan to use the prize to take a family vacation and boost their savings.

The Lottery retailer that sold the winning ticket gets to share in the excitement. Weis Markets #167, located at 12817 Shank Farm Way in Hagerstown, will receive a bonus from the Lottery of $300, equal to 1% of the $30,000 prize.

The couple nabbed the first of seven $30,000 prizes on the Bonus Crossword Fifth Edition game that went on sale last month. Also unclaimed are 16 $5,000 prizes and more than 790,000 prizes ranging from $3 to $1,000.