Scratch-off Win Fast-Forwards Plans for the Future

Taneytown resident Michael Kress was all smiles after he claimed a $50,000 prize on the 24 Karat GOLD scratch-off ticket.

Taneytown man wins $50,000 playing 24 Karat GOLD game

Michael Kress received the shock of his life a couple of weeks ago, a surprise he shared with his mother and fiancée. None of them could believe that a 24 Karat GOLD scratch-off ticket game he’d purchased on the way home from work would turn into a $50,000 game-changer for the family.

“I picked up a handful of scratch tickets that evening, and I made sure to include a few 24 Karat GOLD,” the 31-year-old plumber’s apprentice said. “My mom and I take turns scratching them, and when we got to the last one it was my turn and it was my favorite game.”

Scratching the ticket’s hidden symbols first, he was happy to see a gold bar, which denotes a win.

“I’ve won with 24 Karat GOLD plenty of times, which is why I made sure to get it,” Michael said. “I assumed the win would be $5.”

He then scratched the corresponding prize below the gold bar. At first he saw a dollar sign and a 5, and was pleased to know that he had won back the cost of the ticket. But the Carroll County resident was about to be more than simply pleased.

“There was more space to scratch so I kept going – zero after zero, four in all!” Michael recalled.

A double-take was followed by a triple-take.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” he said. “When I told mom she didn’t believe it either.”

Within a minute, though, the pair were taking turns jumping up and down.

“We had a big hug after that, my mom was crying,” Michel said, adding that the scene was repeated a bit later when his fiancée returned home.

The couple had plans to begin looking for their home of the future at the end of next year, but Michael says their timetable has changed.

“We’ll be staring the search much sooner than we’d thought, thanks to this win,” he said.

The lucky winner purchased the ticket at the Liquor Barn at 520 E. Baltimore Street in Taneytown, a sale that earns the store owners a $500 bonus from the Lottery.  The 24 Karat GOLD game debuted in April, and eight of its $50,000 top prizes remain unclaimed along with nine $5,000 second-tier tickets and thousands of additional prizes ranging from $5 to $1,000.