The Baltimore Orioles are a cause of celebration this season for Maryland resident Karl Petro.
On top of their strong season so far, the team also ran a promotional lottery that handed $50,000 to Petro, according to Maryland Lottery officials.
Petro of Westminster won the second and final top prize of the Home Run Riches Contestant of the Game on Aug. 29, officials said in a news release.
The team ran a promotion that selected a winner each game to receive $500 for being selected and $500 for each home run the Orioles scored, according to lottery officials.
In honor of the Maryland Lottery’s 50-year anniversary, two lucky winners could also receive prizes of $50,000. The first was awarded when the Orioles hit their 50th home run of the season. The second was awarded in a second-chance contest.
When 72-year-old Petro was first contacted with the news of the second-chance win, he said he didn’t believe it until his brother did some “detective work,” lottery officials said.
Even before the win, Petro said he and his family had been watching this season with “growing excitement.”
“This core of young prospects and the quiet work of the veteran players has been so exciting to watch this year. Gunnar, Mateo, Cedric, Hays and Mack (McKenna) – there’s just something really special there,” Petro told the Maryland Lottery.
The Orioles sit in the top spot of their division, American League East.
Petro was never selected as a contestant of the game, but he did win the $50,000.
He told lottery officials he plans to use the money on a trip to Italy “to reconnect with his family’s roots.” He’ll also put some of the money toward bills and home improvement projects.
“This is amazing and unbelievable for me,” Petro said.