Maryland father of three gets stunning surprise

Father of three from Maryland wins enormous scratch-off prize on Black Friday.

Maryland father of three gets stunning surprise

On Friday, November 24th, a single father of three based in Lanham, Maryland, was doing the same thing millions of Americans have become accustomed to doing on the day after Thanksgiving: hitting the road and engaging in the annual ritual of seeking out deals on Black Friday. Except in this case, that ritual was going to be elevated by a once-in-a-lifetime surprise.

In the middle of his trip, the father stopped for gas at a New Carrollton Shell in Hyattsville—located roughly 30 miles southwest of Baltimore—and purchased a $20 Bonus Bingo X20 scratch-off ticket. After wrapping up his shopping, the man headed home, where he scratched his ticket. It didn’t take long for him to realize that he’d struck on a winner. As he told Maryland Lottery officials, “I know how to win. I play them a lot, and I am so familiar with them.”

Overwhelming win

Despite his familiarity with the game and near-certainty that he’d won big, he still couldn’t help but be utterly overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the figure. This wasn’t $50, $1,000, or even $10,000—he’d won a $500,000 prize, a staggering sum for nearly anybody. Incredulous, he decided to call his nephew and his nephew’s wife and ask them to accompany him to a lottery retailer to scan the ticket and confirm that it was, indeed, worth half-a-million dollars. When they received the confirmation, he finally broke down. “He just became so emotional,” his nephew’s wife told the Maryland Lottery. “He couldn’t speak.”

The Lanham-based construction worker, who emphasized that he was “grateful” for the stroke of incredible fortune, plans to use the windfall to pay off debt and make some investments.

The New Carrollton Shell also stands to financially benefit from the winning ticket—albeit on a significantly smaller scale than the lucky parent. As a result of selling the $500,000 ticket, the gas station will receive $1,000 from the Maryland Lottery.

Bonus Bingo X20

The Maryland Lottery’s Bonus Bingo X20, which was first introduced in August 2020, features 10 chances to win. Each ticket’s probability of winning is 1 in 2.96, and there are still a number of substantial prizes available, including another $500,000 ticket, two $50,000 tickets, 27 $10,000 tickets, and 40 $5,000 tickets.

Maryland Lottery celebrates 50th anniversary

The Maryland Lottery was first approved by voters in 1973, and on May 15th of that year the first lottery ticket was sold. In the 50 years since, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency has contributed more than $18 billion in revenue to the state, much of which has been used to support efforts on behalf of public education, public health, and the environment.

All Marylanders should remember to play Bonus Bingo X20—and the state’s many other games—responsibly.


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