Paul Hooper Jr., who says he has always fantasized about hitting it big in the lottery, had been on a pretty good lucky streak of late, having won $5,000 and $10,000 on instant tickets. Nothing could’ve prepared him for what he saw when he started scratching off a Maryland Lottery ticket he bought recently at the Liquor Barn in Taneytown, however.
“When I saw those skinny zeroes, I knew it was a big prize,” Hooper is quoted as having said in a news release from Maryland Lottery and Gaming.
Big indeed. Hooper won $1 million on the Max A Million scratch-off ticket he purchased at the liquor store at 520 E. Baltimore St.
The retired construction worker and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania resident turned in his ticket Monday at Maryland Lottery headquarters in Baltimore to receive his windfall, Seth Elkinn, the lottery’s assistant director of communications for public affairs, said.
“I’m playing with my mad money, using a personal lucky charm and it seems to be working,” Hooper said via the release. “Winning big was always my fantasy and then it happened.”
It was the continuation of a “months-long string of good fortune that produced several large prizes,” for Hooper, according to the release. His $5,000 and $10,000 wins came via The Price is Right instant tickets. Hooper also won $50,000 on a scratch-off ticket in 2013, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming website.
The Liquor Barn is Hooper’s favorite Maryland Lottery retailer, according to the release, which went on to say Hooper rushed back into the store, short of breath, to share his excitement with the employees after processing what his Max A Million scratch-off ticket was worth.
“I thought I might have an attack right there,” Hooper is quoted as having said. “I shouted that I had just hit the friggin’ big one!”
Hooper plans to use his newfound riches to “improve his retirement,” noting that he might take his wife on a trip to Hawaii for their 45th wedding anniversary, according to the release.
On Tuesday, the day after Hooper turned in his winning ticket, another big winning ticket sold in Taneytown was turned in.
A 39-year-old Taneytown man won $30,000 on Diamond Bingo scratch-off ticket he purchased at a Maryland Lottery vending machine at the Sheetz at 40 Antrim Blvd.
The winner, who chose to remain anonymous — opting to be identified only as Perception Dad — said he has been playing the lottery regularly at lunchtime, according to a news release by Maryland Lottery and Gaming. He said via the release that he has made no plans to celebrate with his winnings, but has already made plans to get new tires for his vehicle, a car for his stepdaughter and use the remainder for living expenses, according to the press release.
Both the Liquor Barn and Sheetz will also benefit from the winning tickets. Liquor Barn will receive $1,000 for selling the million-dollar ticket and Sheetz will receive $300 for the $30,000 ticket bought there.