Posted on: October 30, 2021, 10:07h.
Last updated on: October 31, 2021, 11:00h.
Winning a million-dollar lottery prize is supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But tell that to a Maryland man.
The Maryland Lottery reported earlier this week that a 65-year-old retired utility worker claimed the final $2 million prize in the aptly-named $2,000,000 Richer scratch-off game. That life-changing win came several years, the lottery said, after the Salisbury resident won $2 million on another scratch-off ticket.
The lottery did not reveal the man’s identity.
When exactly the man won wasn’t clear. The release said he bought two of the $30 tickets at an Exxon station in North Salisbury at some point during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first ticket produced a $100 winner. On the second, he got an instant-winning gold bar icon hovering over the $2 million prize.
He chose to hold on to the ticket because of the pandemic and put it in his house safe. He claimed the last of the six grand prizes just days before Monday’s deadline to claim any prize from the game.
I was just a bit nervous,” he said. “I worried that I could have a fire (at home) that would burn it up, that the ticket’s expiration date might come up and even had just a bit of doubt that it was really real.”
According to the game’s rules, the $2 million prize will be paid in 20 annual installments. Grand prize winners can opt for a lump-sum award of an undisclosed amount within 60 days of claiming the prize.
While all the $2 million prizes have been claimed, somebody may be holding another big prize winner. The Maryland Lottery’s website said as of Friday that one of the eight $50,000 second-prize awards remains unclaimed.
What are the Odds?
Based on the number of available winning tickets and the 1-in-2.82 odds of winning any prize, the odds of anyone winning a $2 million grand prize from $2,000,000 Richer were about 1-in-584,393.
Without knowing what other game the man won, let’s assume the odds were about the same. That would make someone’s chances of winning two $2 million lottery scratch-off grand prizes at around 1-in-3.4 billion.
The lottery said the really lucky winner used his first $2 million prize to fund his retirement and take his family on vacation. This prize will go towards some home improvements and another vacay.
The common-sense approach toward spending those winnings also carried over to his advice to other lottery players. He encouraged his fellow lottery players to just play for the sake of enjoyment.
“Be realistic and make sure that when you play that you aren’t just playing for the big jackpot,” he said.
Lotteries, which include scratch-off tickets and regular random-draw events like Powerball, are by far the most popular form of gambling in the US. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling’s National Gambling Attitudes and Experiences study, 73 percent of adults who participated in the November 2018 survey said they gambled at least once in the previous year. Two-thirds of respondents said they bought a lottery ticket.
Expensive Lottery Games
In Maryland, $30 is the highest price for a lottery scratch-off ticket. Currently, it offers four tickets at the price. Two offer grand prizes of $2 million, while the other two offer top prizes of $100,000.
Some states, though, have scratch-offs that cost even more. Earlier this month, Indiana’s Hoosier Lottery released its latest $50 ticket. The game, $4,000,000 Fortune, offers two $4 million grand prizes and four $500,000 prizes. The Texas Lottery offers four $50 games, with top prizes ranging from $1 million to $5 million.