Tribute to a Friend Brings Lottery Luck

Linthicum woman wins $8,888 on Match 8 Ball scratch-off ticket

225-Magic-8-Ball-ITVMBethany Balestieri once played Lottery games every week alongside a dear friend. Last week, memories of her friend, who has since passed away, brought about a big scratch-off prize for the 24-year-old Anne Arundel County resident.

Her friend’s birthday was the inspiration for her purchase, as she won an $8,888 top prize in the Maryland Lottery’s Magic 8 Ball game. Each year she celebrates her friend’s birthday by making it a point to play a couple of Lottery games.

“She loved playing scratch games,” Bethany said of her friend. “So I always pick up a ticket on her birthday as a way of reliving the fun we had together.”

On Nov. 6, she found herself at the Linthicum Exxon at 402 South Camp Meade Road picking out a cold drink when she realized that the store sold also sold Lottery tickets.

“I had $4 in change so I chose two Magic 8 Ball tickets,” she said.

Bethany scratched her tickets in her car, but soon returned to the store, sure that her eyes were deceiving her.

“I was convinced something was wrong,” she said. “There was no way it could be that big a winner.”

With the $8,888 prize confirmed by the store’s clerk, Bethany began thinking about the ways she would spend her winnings.

“Most of this will go into savings, and will one day be part of a down payment on a house,” Bethany said. “I’m also going on vacation soon – I will be having more fun than I had thought.”

The $2 Magic 8 Ball game debuted in June, and two of its $8,888 top prizes are still waiting to be claimed.