Montgomery County Ferret Benefactor Wins $50,000 Scratch-off Prize

Donnie Cole of Montgomery County plans to donate some of his $50,000 scratch-off prize to a ferret rescue organization.

Money Explosion instant ticket prize is fourth big score for enthusiastic player

An avid Lottery player whose love of scratching off instant tickets is equal to his love of pet ferrets claimed his fourth substantial prize on Dec. 1 at Lottery headquarters. The Montgomery County man said he plans to keep on playing – and winning.

“My intent is that when the Maryland Lottery does its taxes, it’ll have to list me as a dependent,” said Donnie Cole.

The 62-year-old claimed his latest prize, a $50,000 second-tier score, on the $20 Money Explosion scratch-off. His previous big wins are two for $50,000, one of which dates to July 2012, and one for $100,000 in November 2017.

Donnie reports that ferrets and the Lottery are linked in his life. “My wife and I are a forever home for rescued ferrets,” he said. “When people ask what I do, I tell them I rub furry tummies, and they always ask where they can apply.” At present, they share their home with five ferrets, which Donnie says are “so much smarter than people.” For example, he says, at night most of them will sleep but one will always stay awake, exploring and standing post.

“I like playing the Lottery because I’m usually at home by myself with the ferrets and they don’t talk too much,” he said.

Donnie and his wife work with Nirvana Ridge Ferret Rescue in Virginia. He says the operation will receive part of the proceeds of his Lottery win.

The winner, who lives in a very small town, said he purchased the lucky Money Explosion instant ticket at Olney Shell gas station at 18040 Georgia Avenue in Olney.

The Money Explosion game has a top prize of $1 million. Two of those top prizes remain unclaimed as of Dec. 1 and two of the original eight $50,000 second-tier prizes also are unclaimed after Donnie’s score.