Prince George’s Man Stops for Gas, Leaves with Cash

Wins $30,000 top prize playing Bonus Crossword scratch-off

137-Bonus-Crossword-ITVMOne the way to work last week, Christian Menjivar of Riverdale noticed he needed to address both his car’s gas tank and his appetite. Along with buying a few gallons of regular gas, the construction worker bought coffee, a doughnut and a $3 Bonus Crossword scratch-off from Langley Park Exxon in Hyattsville.

“I normally play only $5 tickets,” he told Lottery officials, “but I really wanted that doughnut even though it left me with only $3 for my tickets.”

Later at home, well after the doughnut’s digestion, that $3 scratch-off that Christian had “settled” for became the $30,000 star of his week, his month and, likely, his next year or two. When the 33-year-old played the Bonus Crossword scratch-off he was, at first, unsure of how much he had won.

“It looked like a $1,000 winner to me,” said the native of El Salvador. “My wife thought so too, but we weren’t sure.”

A visit to a nearby Lottery retailer made it clear that the ticket was a winner, but the size of the prize remained elusive. In fact, it wasn’t until Christian visited Lottery headquarters in Baltimore as instructed by the ticket scanner that he learned how much he’d won. “I was amazed by the $30,000,” he said, “just amazed.”

Christian plans to share his winnings with his family – his wife, daughter and several other relatives. “This has been a wonderful surprise,” he said. “I want to share this happiness.”

For selling a top-prize ticket on the extended play scratch-off, the Langley Park Exxon at 1348 University Boulevard in Hyattsville will receive a $300 bonus from the Lottery. The game has three more $30,000 top-prize tickets in stores, as well as nine prizes good for $5,000.