By Derek Arnold, RussellStreetReport.com
Derek 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. For more on the Ravens and to read Derek’s columns, visit RussellStreetReport.com.
When you play the Maryland Lottery, all it takes is a single winning ticket to find yourself with a prize that takes your breath away.
Even when you play a game like Ravens Cash Fantasy, where buying more tickets greatly increases your odds of winning, sometimes all it takes is that one purchase to end up with the experience of a lifetime.
When Chris Adams from Lonaconing bought his first two Ravens Cash Fantasy scratch-off tickets of 2012, he thought it was the beginning of a season-long quest for prizes. Instead, those two tickets were all he needed to find himself on a plane with the Ravens headed for Kansas City.
“The first two tickets I bought were worth 100 yards each, and you only needed 100 yards to qualify [for the second chance drawing], so I put those two tickets in and that was all it took,” Adams said.
That initial two-ticket purchase won Adams and his wife perhaps the best prize available in the Ravens Cash Fantasy game – flying with the team to an away game, staying in the team hotel, and a field pass for pre-game warm-ups, in addition to tickets to the game itself.
This year’s “Travel with the Team” prize took the winners to Kansas City to watch the Ravens take on the Chiefs.
Along with the rest of the winners, Chris and his wife flew on the team charter plane, where some familiar faces greeted them.
“Coach [John] Harbaugh came back and talked to us, and he had [center] Matt Birk with him. Coach talked to us for a little while, then he asked Birk if he had anything to say to us.”
Birk responded as you might expect an NFL offensive lineman to – with culinary recommendations.
“The only thing Birk said to us was to make sure we ate all we could on the plane. All the food was really good. You could choose between crab cake and filet mignon. I chose the filet and it was delicious,” Adams said.
Once they arrived in Kansas City, the winners found themselves in the team hotel, surrounded by players and coaches scurrying to meetings. It was a scene that Adams won’t soon forget.
“[One of the] best parts was being in the hotel lobby, and getting to see all the wide receivers – Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith – all the big names walking by. Bernard Pollard walked by, and I actually got to talk to him face-to-face.”
In addition to chance meetings between them and the players, the winners were also treated to a dinner featuring a special guest on the night before the game. Star running back Ray Rice joined the winners for a meet-and-greet in a private area of the hotel on Saturday night.
“That was a great experience. Ray Rice is a Pro Bowl running back, real big name guy, but he just talks to you like he’s one of your friends. He just became a father this year, and [my wife and I] had just had a baby a couple weeks earlier, so he talked to us about that. I know he was joking, but he said that if we ever need any parenting advice, to give him a call,” Adams said.
The winners were also surprised on game day, as they got to go down onto the Ravens sideline during pre-game warm-ups. When asked what he would most remember from the trip, Adams pointed to that part of the prize.
“Being on the field was the best experience. Being just [a few] feet away and watching all the players warm up in their uniforms.”
The game itself wasn’t exactly one to remember, as the Ravens squeaked out a hard-fought 9-6 victory over the Chiefs.
“It was really too close. For that game to be that close was just nerve-wracking. Towards the end it looked like the Ravens were going to give it away. The Ravens were able to run the clock out and win the game, but it was still too close.”
Although he says he will be playing Ravens Cash Fantasy more moving forwards, Adams is proof that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on tickets to win one of the amazing prizes.
All it takes is one.
The next second chance drawing is Tuesday, November 13. Enter at mdlottery.com/ravens.