Retired Army Veteran Follows Orders for $50,000 Lottery Win

Scratch-off Said Hit the Jackpot

Hit The JackpotA retired U.S. Army veteran who followed orders during his 22 years, 11 months and seven days of active duty is glad he followed orders with a Maryland Lottery scratch-off. The scratch-off said Hit the Jackpot, so he did.

Eric Lee’s $50,000 win on the $20 Hit the Jackpot scratch-off is going “straight to the bank,” he said. The Mercersburg, Pa. resident retired as a staff sergeant from the military because of disabilities sustained during his service overseas.

“This win was a blessing,” said the father of three. “I’ve had 36 surgeries, all military-related.”

He is currently unemployed while undergoing rehabilitation. Eric keeps busy as a volunteer in a Salvation Army soup kitchen when he is not traveling to and from military medical facilities. “Helping others is my passion,” he said, while enthusiastically describing his work with those in need.

His wife enjoys playing $1 Lottery scratch-offs while Eric, who just started playing scratch-offs this year, prefers playing higher-priced tickets. He first spotted the Hit the Jackpot scratch-off at a gas station, where they displayed winning tickets for customers to see.

“Someone had won $500 and the ticket was hanging up,” said the 46-year-old. “I thought to myself, ‘What a pretty ticket.’ ” Later that day, which was Oct. 19, he made another stop at a store near his home, Your Country Store in Hagerstown. He bought the Hit the Jackpot ticket and a few others and took them home to scratch off. At first, Eric thought he had won $100. He kept scratching and revealed his $50,000 win. “I just started screaming,” Eric said.

His wife and children joined his celebration. He kept the ticket safe in his pillowcase at night and in his sock drawer during the day until the family decided the best use for the funds. “I slept on it every night,” he said, smiling. His sons are age 25 and 20 and his daughter is 15. The family agreed together that the money should go toward investments and savings. “It’s a great start,” he said.

Eric hopes other Lottery players will visit his favorite Lottery retailer, Your Country Store, at 17035 Fairview Road in Hagerstown.