Winner Becomes New Grandma While Claiming Scratch-off Prize

A “Happy New Grandma” claimed her $10,000 scratch-off prize within minutes of learning that her second grandchild had been born.

Baby arrives earlier than expected as grandma collects $10,000 win

A Joppa mother of eight thought her family had all day to wrap up errands before her granddaughter – already past the due date – got the doctor’s help to make a late-night grand entrance into the world.

Guess again, lucky lady! Sometimes babies, just like Lottery luck, follow their own timetable. Our “Happy New Grandma,” as she dubbed herself for her publicity photo, was parking at Lottery headquarters in Baltimore when she got the first call: The baby was coming fast – hurry up and get to the hospital!

Everyone in the family – except her daughter’s husband – was out wrapping up loose ends and planning to arrive at the hospital that night to await the baby’s delivery. The 49-year-old sped into the building to claim her $10,000 prize on a $1,000,000 Platinum Play scratch-off.

Alas, despite her rush, grandma’s new little jackpot made her debut. Another call came in as the excited grandmother – now of two – completed her paperwork and collected her prize. She already had the baby’s first photo on her smartphone as she entered the Winner’s Circle to share the story of her good fortune.

Lottery luck came to the U.S. Mail carrier when she stopped after work at the Royal Farms store #70 in Joppa. She plays several Maryland Lottery games, including Pick 4, Mega Millions and Powerball. Scratch-offs are a favorite gift on occasions like Valentine’s Day or for stocking stuffers at the holidays, she said. The Harford County convenience store, located at 500 Joppa Farm Road, was her destination to buy a Mega Millions ticket.

Even though she only plays scratch-offs occasionally, this player researches the Lottery’s instant tickets to see which ones have a lot of unclaimed prizes. She knew the $1,000,000 Platinum Play game, for example, was loaded with possibilities.

“I saw they still had them in the machine so I bought one,” she said. At home, she scratched off the first number on the instant ticket and it matched, revealing a $1,000 prize. She asked her son to help verify her win. The matching numbers kept coming as she scratched off the rest of the ticket. “Every number matched,” she said. “I added it up to $10,000!”

She plans to spend the prize on home improvements. The winner and her husband had just gotten an estimate on the cost of a fence and, only days later, here comes the money to cover the bill. “He was kind of in shock,” she said.

All four of the $1,000,000 Platinum Play game’s $1 million top prizes are still unclaimed, along with seven $50,000 prizes and 20 $10,000 prizes. The $20 game went on sale in August and offers thousands of additional prizes, ranging from $20 to $5,000.