Tennessee Trucker Turns Family Luck Around with $100,000 Win

Finds top prize on $100,000 Ca$h game

A long-haul trucker bound for Baltimore to pick up a load of tractors decided to make a pit stop after crossing the Maryland state line. Thomas Spangler of Tennessee pulled into the Flying J Pilot Travel Center #784 in North East, where the scratch-off fan found his ticket to a $100,000 payday.

He drives all over the East Coast and into the Midwest, playing scratch-offs whenever he stops for a meal and to fuel up. During his years of play, the former race car driver said his top lottery wins were $2,000 in Pennsylvania and $2,000 in Tennessee. His siblings enjoy playing scratch-offs, too, even though big prizes like the one Thomas is hauling away from Maryland seem to elude the family.

“The family says, there’s great luck, good luck, bad luck and Spangler luck,” Thomas said, laughing. He just turned the family’s luck around by winning a $100,000 top prize in the Maryland Lottery’s $30 $100,000 Ca$h game. Thomas had already shared news of his good fortune with friends and family members before claiming his prize at Lottery headquarters in Baltimore.

The 65-year-old was following his work routine the day he encountered his big dose of Lottery luck. “I pulled into the Flying J at exit 100,” he said, “and I went in to get a sandwich, paid for fuel and got a couple of scratch-offs.”

Among his purchases was the lucky $100,000 Ca$h game, which went on sale in September. Thomas was attracted to the instant ticket by its promise, written on the front of the game, of more than 60 top prizes of $100,000.

“I started scratching and I thought I won $100,” he said. “I was happy, then I had to stare at it for 30 seconds to be sure I won.” He’s gotten his hopes up in the past only to realize, after close scrutiny, that he was mistaken about a big win. This time, his eyes were deceiving him by not seeing three zeros in the $100,000 prize listed beneath the autowin symbol.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “Nothing like this has ever happened to me. It couldn’t have happened at a better time.” A resident of a small town in Tennessee near Bristol, Thomas plans to pay off a car loan with his winnings and save the rest of the prize.

His lucky Lottery retailer also wins. For selling a $100,000 top-prize winning scratch-off, the Pilot Travel Center at 1 Center Drive in Cecil County earns a $1,000 bonus from the Lottery.

Meanwhile, plenty of prizes remain in the $100,000 Ca$h game. Players can seek 59 more $100,000 top prizes, 36 unclaimed $5,000 prizes and others ranging from $30 to $500.