U.S. Army Vet Reels in $50,000 Bonus Match 5 Whopper

$50K BM5 Hooked webPlaying a personal set of numbers paid off for this happy Crofton man.

Fishing enthusiast hooks top prize with lucky set of numbers in Dec. 27 drawing

A Crofton fisherman unknowingly hooked a whopper of a win when he bought his Bonus Match 5 numbers for the week of Dec. 21-27. The happy retiree arrived at Maryland Lottery headquarters after the New Year to claim his $50,000 prize from the Dec. 27 drawing.

Because he is retiring those lucky numbers, the 58-year-old revealed his secret to winning: He played the same set of personal numbers every time until he reeled in a big win.

“That was awesome,” he said.

Playing Maryland Lottery games is a hobby for the Anne Arundel County resident, who is enjoying a double retirement. He retired as a U.S. Army sergeant major after 21 years and as a U.S. Capitol employee after another two decades. These days, the happy man spends his time fishing, playing Bonus Match 5 and, sometimes, Pick 3 and Pick 4. He’s won $500 here and $1,000 there and typically lets the Lottery terminal quick-pick some sets of numbers. He also routinely played a combination of his wife’s birthday and the dates of birth of his two adult children.

On the day of his lucky purchase, the loyal player visited a 7-Eleven store in Crofton before leaving town and bought seven draws of his numbers. At 11 p.m. the night after the fateful drawing, he was in Georgia when he quietly checked his ticket and saw his personal set of numbers matched the winning numbers.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, I won!’ ” the winner said and then he went to bed without telling a soul about his Lottery luck. He plans to pay some bills with his prize, take care of some college tuition bills and then set up a trip to Aruba to surprise his wife. The grandparents of three will celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary in March.

For selling a top-prize Bonus Match 5 ticket, the lucky retailer located at 2046 Davidsonville Road in Crofton will receive a $500 bonus from the Lottery.