Vietnam Vet Wins $10,000 Lottery Prize During Saturday Night Dinner Run

Baltimore resident scratches his way to Ea$y Money game’s top prize

Easy-Money-ITVM_2016A Vietnam veteran from Baltimore got the surprise of a lifetime on Dec. 17 – a $10,000 top prize on the Ea$y Money scratch-off game.

While he and his fiancé were on their way to pick up dinner from a local restaurant, the 74-year-old stopped and bought the lucky $2 instant ticket from a vending machine at Royal Farms #106 located at 3360 Annapolis Road in Baltimore. He waited in the car, scratching off the instant ticket, as his fiancé went into the restaurant to pick up their food.

“I scratched off the numbers first, not the amounts,” he said. “First, I saw that I had matched the number 10, and I figured maybe I won $2. Then I scratched the amount and I saw zeros, and I thought, ‘OK, maybe $1,000.’ ”

When the prize turned out to be $10,000, the lucky winner experienced disbelief.

“I said, ‘That’s not possible,’ ” he recalled. “I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it had happened to me.”

When his fiancé returned to the car with their dinner, he shared the good news.

“She said, ‘Don’t mess with me!’ ” the U.S. Army veteran said. “She didn’t believe it was real. It took us about five minutes before the reality set in.”

The retiree’s largest previous Lottery win came several months ago when he took home $1,000 playing Pick 3. He said some of his Ea$y Money prize would go to his fiancé and he would spend the rest on bills.

This was the first top prize claimed in the Ea$y Money game. There are still four more unclaimed top prizes, along with six $5,000 prizes and thousands of additional prizes ranging from $2 to $1,000.