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Avid lottery player gets ‘back in the game’ after pause — and wins big in Maryland

Miami Herald

An avid lottery player took a break from playing — and won big upon his return in Maryland, officials said.

He decided to buy a ticket during ”a spur-of-the-moment” Walmart run in Columbia, about a 20-mile drive southwest from Baltimore, lottery officials said in a news release.

“I stopped playing a while back for two reasons,” he told officials. “I hadn’t been having much luck, and my wife hinted that maybe I was spending too much.”

The last time he’d had success was a $200 win from playing a 50X The Cash scratch-off in February.

“Not winning much made it easy to take a break, and I could show my wife that I understood her concerns,” he said.

Then something convinced him to “get back in the game,” officials said. He remembered his wife had asked him to handle an errand for her and stopped at a Walmart on his way home from work as a grocery store produce manager.

“I turned a corner and there was a Lottery vending machine,” he said. “The first game I saw in it was 100X The Cash, which made me think of my last big winner.”

He tried his luck on an instant ticket that caught his eye, officials said. The tickets are “two of a six-game family of scratch-off games with similar play style, ever-increasing top prizes and a second-chance promotion,” officials said.

Less than a minute later, he would realize he had won $1 million, officials said.

“When I scratched the million dollar win I was shocked, but stayed very calm,” he said. “I was just overwhelmed with gratitude.”

The “happy dad” rushed to his son’s office to tell him the big news, officials said.

“My son kept his cool, but there were tears in his eyes,” he said. “It was very emotional for us.”

He plans to share his winnings with his family and build up a retirement nest egg, officials said.

“My wife and I are so relieved not to have to worry about our future,” he said.

Many people can gamble or play games of chance without harm. However, for some, gambling is an addiction that can ruin lives and families.

If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.

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