Scratch-off Novice Marks $30,000 Win with Noisy Celebration

The first time she tried a Maryland Lottery scratch-off, Sandra Howard (right) won $30,000! She and her daughter celebrated at Lottery headquarters.

Ex-husband gave Arnold woman the lucky SKEE-BALL® instant ticket

Joyful shouts filled the air when Sandra Howard of Arnold realized she won a $30,000 top prize on a SKEE-BALL® scratch-off. In fact, her noisy celebration resounded through the house.

“I was excited, I started to scream!” Sandra recalled as she sat in the Winner’s Circle at Lottery headquarters in Baltimore. Her adult daughter, who accompanied her to claim the prize, added that she initially thought the screams came from one of the kids who were running around the house.

A first-time player, Sandra explained that her ex-husband bought the instant ticket as a “thank you” after she and her daughter helped him with a family issue.

“I have never played before. I can’t believe it,” said the 57-year-old of her big win. “I guess I will buy my ex a beer!”

The Anne Arundel County resident plans to use some of the prize to buy a new hearing aid. She is undecided on plans for the rest of the funds. The lucky winner is an advocate for the Maryland SPCA and also said her family likes to give gifts to the homeless during the holidays.

“I don’t know what I am going to do with the money but it will be a for good cause,” she said. Sandra’s daughter added that she hopes her mom will use some of the prize to go on a nice vacation.

The lucky Lottery retailer that sold the top-prize winning scratch-off, 177 Liquors in Anne Arundel County, is also a winner. The business at 2903 Mountain Road in Pasadena will receive a $300 bonus from the Lottery.

The SKEE-BALL scratch-off went on sale March 21 with eight top prizes; only two $30,000 winners remain unclaimed. Four unclaimed second-tier prizes of $1,000 also await discovery, along with prizes ranging from $3 to $150.