By Kris Jones, RussellStreetReport.com
Kris is a columnist for RussellStreetReport.com (formerly Ravens24x7.com), a leading Baltimore Ravens fan site that features Ravens news and insight from the fans perspective. Kris has been featured on The Jim Rome Show, ProFootballTalk Live, FoxSports.com and more. For more on the Ravens and to read Kris’ columns, visit RussellStreetReport.com.
The popular phrase, “I’d do anything to win,” is typically used when a very desired prize is on the line. When Marti Stepner from Baltimore heard about the great prizes the Maryland Lottery offered as part of their Ravens Cash Fantasy game, she took that sentiment to heart.
Stepner works for a distributor who sells convenience store items, so she was forced to stare at the popular scratch-off game on a daily basis. After purchasing almost 100 tickets on her own, she went all in to better her odds of winning a prize she’d never forget.
“If I would see [a ticket] there on top of a trash can that wasn’t totally gross, I would take it,” Stepner said.
Stepner was attempting to collect unused “yards” and enter them online to be able to become eligible for more prizes.
Were Stepner’s methods unconventional?
Are you jealous of what she won thanks to her determination?
Stepner and 23 of her closest friends and tailgate buddies were given the keys to the Maryland Lottery skybox at M&T Bank Stadium. A self-described “huge Ravens fan,” Stepner typically attends most games throughout the season but this is one that she’ll never forget.
Playing in the first Monday night Football game in Baltimore since 2007, the Ravens blew out the Cincinatti Bengals in prime time, 44-13.
“It was amazing. [Winning by a large margin] makes the game so much better,” she said. “I couldn’t ask for a better game to go to.”
An avid tailgater, Stepner wasn’t going to let the first-class skybox atmosphere interfere with the way she and her friends are used to chanting in the stands.
“Other skyboxes were looking at us like we were crazy. We were definitely the fun, loud skybox.”
Needless to say, Stepner loved her own piece of real estate in the stadium.
“It was such a better experience than I had ever imagined. They had food set up – amazing food set up – when I got there.”
That great food was kept stocked by their own personal waiter, and included crab cakes, crab dip, chicken tenders, pit beef, veggies, salad, and more.
“I wish I ate more,” she lamented.
“I ate quite a bit. I tried to not eat too much at my tailgate because I wanted to save it for the good food upstairs. I took a taste of a little bit of everything.”
Though she loved the food, it was another amenity that really had Stepner impressed.
“I’ve got to tell you, having your own bathroom is the best part of all. That was awesome!”
Needless to say, Stepner’s friends are definitely indebted to her. “My friends were so excited to be there,” she said. “Everybody had such a better time than I had expected. I expected to have the best time and we had ten times better than best time.”
Stepner’s friends even showed their appreciation with her own custom chant. Her friends echoed, “Thank you Marti (clap, clap, clap-clap clap)”
As Stepner continues to attend games in the stands at M&T Bank Stadium, she admitted she’ll be looking up at the skyboxes and looking at the people enjoying a similar experience.
“I have plenty of fond memories. I’ll look up there and be jealous of the people in it.”
Stepner hopes to be like Annie Mitten – a former winner of multiple Ravens Cash Fantasy prizes.
“I’ve already bought quite a few scratch offs, and it’s only the beginning of the season,” Stepner said. “I’m sure a lot of my money will be going towards that. “
Now that she’s tasted winning, Stepner will be hoping lady luck is on her side once again. “I’m definitely trying to have that experience again, that’s for sure.”
If you want to have an experience like Marti Stepner – your friends chanting your name inside a luxury suite at M&T Bank Stadium – get out there to your local Maryland Lottery retailer and buy your Ravens Cash Fantasy scratch-offs today!