Scratch-off Whim Leads to Suitland Man’s Big Win

Prince George’s County resident claims first $50,000 top prize on Find the 9s game

Last Friday night, some friends were sitting around after work and one of them, a 72-year-old scratch-off fan, felt lucky. On a whim, they decided to join the Suitland resident in purchasing some instant tickets.

Lady Luck led them to the nearby Silver Hill Liquors in Suitland where they each picked out some of their favorite games. Their choices included the $5 Find the 9s scratch-off. The friends have won a little on that game in the past and were hoping to win again. They took the instant tickets home to play.

“I actually started buying Find the 9s because of my friends,” said the 72-year-old maintenance technician. He wound up finding the game’s first top prize of $50,000 prize hiding in his scratch-off. Excited, but skeptical, the winner had one of his friends verify his win by scanning the instant ticket using the Lottery smartphone mobile app.

“He said, ‘Looks like you won $50,000,’ ” recalled the winner, smiling. “I can’t believe I actually won.”

One of the friends who accompanied him to claim the prize said the winner then began celebrating. “He just jumped up with his head to the sky, giving praise,” said the friend. The winner, who is the father of two adult children and two grandchildren, did sign the back of the winning scratch-off and put it in a safe place until he could claim the prize.

The lucky player shared with Lottery officials that he plans to retire soon and will use some of the winnings toward that. He also plans to pay off some bills.

For selling a top-prize winning scratch-off, Silver Hill Liquors located at 4519 Silver Hill Road in Suitland receives a bonus of $500 from the Lottery.

The Find the 9s instant ticket arrived in stores in June with eight top prizes of $50,000. In addition to the seven top prizes remaining, the game has 10 unclaimed $5,000 prizes and more than 800,000 others ranging from $5 to $1,000.