Lottery player picks up $500 prize and buys another ticket — then gets even bigger win

A lottery player was cashing in his $500 win when he decided to pick up two more tickets, Maryland officials said.

Now he’s a millionaire.

The Baltimore County man played the lottery at a liquor store on his way home from work and won $500, Maryland Lottery said in a Nov. 17 news release.

The liquor store couldn’t give him the money then, so he went to the gas station next door to collect the winnings, officials said. Riding the win, he bought two additional tickets.

One payout was worth $50, and the other was worth $1 million.

“I was really in shock,” the man told lottery officials. “I mean, this is truly a miracle.”

He headed home to tell his wife the good news, officials said. He sat down on the couch and got serious.

“I honestly thought there was a death in the family, the way he looked,” the winner’s wife said when they went together to claim the grand prize. “And when he said he won $1 million, I just got so emotional.”

The couple are grandparents, and they told lottery officials they have seen hard times over the years. Now, they plan to use the money to help their four adult children.

“We can sleep at night knowing that we can leave our children a legacy and not baggage,” they told lottery officials.

They said they would use the rest of the money to pay off bills and save up.

The windfall came from a Hot 777 scratch-off ticket, lottery officials said. Three more top prizes of $1 million remain.

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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