|An Ocean Pines resident won the first of three $1 million prizes on the new Royal Gems scratch-off.|
Longtime lottery player claims top prize on Royal Gems game
A routine stop for Maryland Lottery tickets on the way home from work ended in anything but a routine result for an Ocean Pines resident.
The Worcester County man enjoys playing the newest Maryland Lottery scratch-offs, so he grabbed a Royal Gems instant ticket while at Southside Deli, Beer & Wine in Berlin. The $20 game went on sale on Sept. 21. After he got home and scratched it off, the longtime player was shocked to discover that he won the first of the ticket’s three $1 million top prizes. What a way to end the week of his 60th birthday!
“I looked at it and I laid it down … I didn’t believe it,” said the self-employed contractor. “I looked at it again and walked around the garage, and then I looked at it a third time. It was just disbelief. I called my wife and told her to come home from work ‘because I think I won a million dollars!’ ”
“And I told him, ‘I hope you’re right, because I’m leaving work,’ ” his wife said with a smile.
The couple has been married 37 years and their son works with his father in the family contracting business. The winner specializes in remodeling condominiums in Ocean City.
He said he’s been playing Lottery games regularly for about 20 years. The lucky man won $4,000 playing Keno in 2004, but he’d never won more than $500 on a scratch-off until his birthday week. After scratching the ticket on Friday, Sept. 25, the winner took it to his bank and stored it in a safe deposit box until he could make the trip to Lottery headquarters in Baltimore to claim his prize. He plans to invest his winnings and make decisions about what to do with his prize later.
Also a winner is Southside Deli, Beer & Wine located at 11021 Nicholas Lane in Berlin. The retailer will receive a $1,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling a $1 million top-prize ticket. Royal Gems still has two $1 million prizes waiting to be found at Lottery retailers across the state, along with five $50,000 prizes.