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.
It’s been a year since John Menzel of Salisbury found out that he had won the $1 Million prize from the Maryland Lottery’s Ravens Cash Fantasy scratch-offs second-chance contest. Though he had trouble forming complete sentences at the time, his elation at winning was clear.
“Surreal, fantastic, blessed, unbelievable,” he was quoted as saying when he made the trip to the Lottery offices to find out what he had won.
Menzel also told Lottery officials that his eight (now nine) – year old twin daughters were only asking for one thing if their parents won the million dollars: a Ravens foam finger.
The girls got their foam fingers and a lot more, as the Menzels took a family vacation to Hawaii, as well as making a trip up to Baltimore for the Ravens game against the Dallas Cowboys on October 13.
“That was the girls’ first Ravens game,” Menzel said. “They very much enjoyed themselves; they had a blast!
“We stayed downtown at the Inner Harbor at the Hyatt. That’s where the team stays [the night before a game], so we saw a lot of players the night before, and on the morning of the game as we walked across the Harbor to get breakfast. It was great.”
Though the Ravens emerged victorious, they did it in typical 2012 Ravens fashion, with the game going right down to the wire. Still, the Menzels had a wonderful time, sitting in the upper deck and enjoying the win with other fans.
“It was a nail-biter right down to the last second,” Menzel recalled. “But it didn’t really get that rowdy [in the stands]. It was a great time, a great experience.”
Aside from taking the vacation to Hawaii and coming to Baltimore to see a Ravens game, life hasn’t changed much for the Menzels. When they won their prize, John and his wife Lori said they planned on “resuming life as normal.” That’s just what they’ve done, as John continues to work and Lori is still teaching elementary school.
Menzel continued to play Ravens Cash Fantasy this year, though he wasn’t as lucky as he was the last time around.
“I was bummed I didn’t win the Season Tickets for Life,” Menzel lamented.
There’s still time to play Ravens Cash Fantasy scratch-offs. Though the grand prizes have been drawn, there are still two more chances to win a $25,000 prize. To enter, visit mdlottery.com/ravens.