Tearful Cat Lover Claims $50,000 Scratch-off Prize

“Cat Crazy” of Leonardtown and her husband claimed a $50,000 top prize after playing a DEAL OR NO DEAL scratch-off.

Leonardtown woman claims second DEAL OR NO DEAL™ top prize

Her tears started to flow when a grateful Leonardtown player entered the Maryland Lottery Winner’s Circle on Thursday when she heard the welcoming applause and cheers of Lottery employees. The 53-year-old was still floating on clouds after scratching off a $50,000 win on the DEAL OR NO DEAL™ game the day before.

The St. Mary’s County resident had just left work at a local winery when Lottery luck crossed her path. She decided to stop at Southern Liquor in Solomons to play a few scratch-off games. “Cat Crazy,” as she called herself for Lottery publicity because she loves her furry pets, is a fan of higher-priced scratch-offs. She chose three of the $5 DEAL OR NO DEAL instant tickets in part because she had won with the game in the past. This day was no different. “Cat Crazy” actually won prizes on all three scratch-offs!

“The very first one I scratched was the $50,000 winner,” said the lucky player. “I literally could not breathe.”

“Cat Crazy” didn’t even play the actual game. Instead, she scanned the scratch-off prize check area. The message on the ticket checker told her she won $50,000 and to come to Lottery headquarters. “I looked at the cashier and said, ‘OMG! I won big,’ ” she said.

The loyal player immediately called her husband, who didn’t answer his phone. “Cat Crazy” had left her phone in her car and was calling from the store’s phone. He ignored the call because he did not recognize the number!

“I called her back after I listened to the message she left,” said the winner’s husband, who accompanied her to Lottery headquarters to claim her prize. “I had to go and get her because she was too excited to drive. We left her car at the store.”

“Cat Crazy” admits she had a sleepless night, thinking about her big win. The next morning, she called the Lottery for directions and claimed her $50,000 top prize. She and her husband do not have children but they do have four cats that they love dearly. “I plan to buy them a new scratching post,” she said. “Cat Crazy” also plans to pay off some bills with her winnings and take a vacation.

Sharing in the celebration is the retailer that sold the lucky instant ticket. Southern Liquor located at 13318 H G Trueman Road in Solomons will receive a $500 bonus from the Lottery for selling a top-prize winning scratch-off.

Plenty of prizes remain in this game, which went on sale statewide in August. Players can hunt for six more unclaimed $50,000 top prizes as well as thousands of prizes ranging from $5 to $2,000.