Martinez Harlee of Sparks got a $25,000 surprise from a free Pick 5 ticket he received via the Lottery’s Try Pick 5 promotion.
Lucky winner takes home $25,000 prize from free ticket
The Maryland Lottery’s newest game, Pick 5 is gaining in popularity. But to get the word out even more, the Lottery launched the Try Pick 5 promotion, where players may receive a free Pick 5 ticket with the purchase of any draw game ticket. The promotion runs through June 5, but it has already delivered a surprising $25,000 win for a 56-year-old Sparks man, who enjoys playing Pick 4 and Pick 5.
Martinez Harlee, a mortgage lender, was on his way home from work on May 12 when he stopped at 7-Eleven #11637 in Pikesville to buy tickets for that night’s evening drawings. Quite aware of the Try Pick 5 promotion because of free tickets he’s already won, he was happy to pocket a couple more free tickets with his Pick 4 and Pick 5 purchases that evening. Later that night, while on the phone with a friend, he remembered to take a look at his tickets, and a big surprise was waiting for him.
“I pulled up the website and started checking my tickets,” said Martinez. “When I saw I had a winner on the free ticket, I thought, ‘that’s impossible.’”
So, he shut the computer down and then pulled up the winning numbers again later, but the result was still the same: One of his free 50-cent straight Pick 5 tickets matched the winning numbers in the May 12 drawing (44379), delivering a $25,000 win. And that wasn’t his only prize of the night. Martinez also had an $800 win on a $1 box ticket where he played the same numbers.
“Since the promotion, whenever I get a free ticket, I’ll tell the cashier to give me a $1 box ticket with those same numbers,” he said.
Martinez, still a little in disbelief, wanted further confirmation, so he went to a local gas station and scanned his tickets again. He was indeed the winner of a $25,000 prize on the free ticket.
“I immediately called my wife,” said the lucky player. “I said, ‘You are not going to believe this.’”
Martinez gathered himself and then drove back home. The father of four grown children said he plans to put his winnings in the bank.
For its role in the big win, the 7-Eleven store located at 1 Greenwood Place in Pikesville will receive a $250 bonus from the Lottery.