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.
Kelly smiles as she collects her $25,000 Ravens Cash Fantasy prize.
There’s obviously no “bad time” to win a prize from the Maryland Lottery.
However, sometimes Lady Luck shows up at the perfect moment.
That was the case for Kelly Straub of Stevensville, who won a $25,000 weekly prize by playing Ravens Cash Fantasy Scratch-offs.
For starters, Straub was just about to board a plane to Las Vegas when she found out that she had won. What better way to start a vacation to a place where “luck” is the number one commodity?
“I was actually on my way to Las Vegas and I got a call from my husband saying someone called from the Lottery,” Straub said. “I was getting on the plane at the time.”
As fate would have it, Lady Luck was in the mood to fly to Las Vegas as well.
“My luck continued [in Vegas],” Straub recalled. “I was there with my siblings for my niece’s 21st birthday and my two sisters came too. It was a girls’ weekend. I was the only one that won playing slots, and I bet on the Ravens [to beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game] and I won a little bit of money there too.
“It started with the Ravens Cash Fantasy notification and I just had a very lucky weekend. I probably exhausted all of my luck!”
However, Straub’s Ravens Cash Fantasy win came at the perfect time for another, more critical reason.
Just one day before Straub got the call from the Lottery telling her that she had won, she and her husband had made a huge decision.
“We had just, the day before, decided that we were going to do a room expansion on our house to accommodate a couple kids that we are adopting from foster care,” she explained. “And we were like ok, how are we going to pay for this? But we were going to do it anyway.”
The Straubs have been going through the adoption process for nearly a year. They hope that the improvements they are making to their home – the cost of which is being partially offset by their cash prize from the Maryland Lottery – will provide the good karma to bring them the children they desire.
“We’re just really excited because we’ve been waiting since September to be matched with some kids from foster care,” said Straub. “We then had this idea that, ‘if we build it, they will come.’
“It’s just a long waiting game, and we’re just like ‘ok, one of these days, we’ll get some kids, we’re ready!’ So we said, ‘let’s make the room bigger and maybe we can make it a little more comfortable for them.’ So that’s what we’re going to do with the money.
“I think [the expansion] will be better for the kids overall to have. We have one child already and he has his own room. I think it will be a really good thing…again, ‘if we build it, they will come!” So hopefully the ‘foster care gods’ decide to give us some children.”
While the Straubs continue to play the waiting game with their adoption process, Kelly says that her taste of winning has inspired her to continue to push her luck.
“I’ve bought more scratch offs in the time since I won, than I had been buying before,” she said. “Winning inspired me to play a little bit more.”
Hopefully, the new expansion to their home will result in an addition of another kind very soon for the Struabs – the pitter-patter of little feet.
“The win is really going to help,” exclaimed Straub. “We were super excited about it and it was just like, ‘OK, it was meant to be!’”
The final Ravens Cash Fantasy drawing deadline is Tuesday, February 5 at 9 AM. Enter now at mdlottery.com/ravens for your chance to win $1,000,000, Season Tickets for Life*, 2013 season tickets and more.