Out-of-state player follows her aunt’s lead playing scratch-off games
A New Jersey woman who regularly visits her Lottery-enthusiast aunt in Maryland picked up a $50,000 payday Jan. 14 on the $5 LOTERIA™ Grande scratch-off game.
“I never buy tickets in New Jersey. My aunt buys a lot so I buy a few,” said the high school Spanish teacher, who hails from the central part of the Garden State. Originally from Maryland, the 48-year-old travels frequently to see her aunt, who is recovering from health issues.
“She takes care of me,” the aunt explained. Her sister, who is the winner’s mom, recently retired and moved overseas. The pair purchased instant tickets on their way to enjoy a meal together. They stopped at Convenience Express located at 948 Wayne Avenue in Silver Spring. Later, they played their games at the table.
“She was scratching off hers, and I usually just scratch them off and then put them in my purse. She always says, ‘Did you check? Did you check?’” said the niece. The aunt, eager to know if Lottery luck had come her way, checked the niece’s scratch-offs and said, “Oh my gosh, you won!”
Recollecting the moment, the niece said, “I thought it was just for $50 or something.”
Over the years, the aunt has picked up an occasional win of $100 here and $500 there, but nothing like her niece’s big prize.
As for the winnings, the niece plans to follow her aunt’s advice. “Don’t rush in,” her aunt said. “As long as the bills are paid, let it sit.”
For selling a top-prize winning scratch-off, Convenience Express receives a bonus of $500 from the Lottery. The bonus is, equal to 1 percent of the prize.
The LOTERIA™ Grande game went on sale in March 2019 and still has two unclaimed top prizes available. Players can also search for thousands of prizes ranging from $5 to $500.