Santa Visits Baltimore to Collect $10,009 Keno Prize

DSC_6253 with check edited webWilliam Willis of Pasadena, aka Santa to many children, won $10,009 playing Keno.

Anne Arundel County man wins big in Pasadena

Santa Claus arrived in Baltimore a few weeks early this year, bringing his merry “Ho, ho, ho” greeting to Maryland Lottery headquarters. He wasn’t dropping off gifts, however. William Willis of Pasadena, who is one of Santa’s helpers, came to collect a package of his very own – a $10,009 Keno prize.

The jolly fellow who sports a white beard and suits up as Santa for holiday events enjoyed plenty of ho, ho, ho’s over the timing of his visit.

“I do play Santa Claus at VFWs and daycare centers,” said the 67-year-old. “I get my picture taken all the time. Sometimes when I’m in the supermarket and I see a kid being naughty, I give him ‘The Look.’ ”

When this happy grandpa isn’t working as a heavy equipment mechanic or performing as Santa, he enjoys spending time with friends and playing Maryland Lottery games.

“When I’m off, I like to play Keno at Coconut Charlie’s on Fort Smallwood Road in Pasadena,” he said. “I had been playing the same numbers for about three years or so. I didn’t know I had won this much.”

William’s lucky numbers were 1-11-31-41-51-61 and 71 with the Bonus. The night his Keno numbers hit, the lucky man bought a round for everyone because he thought he had won $150. Only when he tried to cash his ticket did he discover his good fortune.

The Anne Arundel County resident and his wife will use the prize to help purchase a bigger home.

His win also delivers a gift of a Maryland Lottery bonus to Coconut Charlie’s. The Lottery retailer located at 9129 Fort Smallwood Road in Pasadena will receive a $100 bonus for selling a winning Racetrax ticket over $10,000.

Before he left the Lottery Winner’s Lounge, Santa had some advice for those who believe in the magic of the holiday season. “Ho, ho, ho, have a Merry Christmas and don’t forget the cookies!”