La Plata, MD— A La Plata man made the trip to Lottery headquarters on Monday to claim a $30,000 prize he won last week playing the recently-released $3 holiday scratch-off game Peppermint Payout.  The 21-year-old refuse collector said he and his family have been going through rough times recently, and he sees the top-prize win as a change in fortune – literally.

“I play every Thursday during football season,” the lucky Charles County man said.  “I stopped in at La Plata Liquors to pick up some beer and snacks for the football game and planned to buy $5 worth of tickets.”

As he approached the counter the clerk pointed out Peppermint Payout, telling him that it the newest ticket in the store.

“I decided to try it and when I was done scratching I thought my heart was going to stop,” he said.

The La Plata resident had been out of work until recently and added that his grandfather has been facing serious health problems.

“With my new job and this win almost immediately after – I’m hoping it means our luck has changed,” he said.

The lucky winner said he’ll be investing his winnings with the hopes of one day starting his own business.

Peppermint Payout is one of five holiday-themed instant games released in late October. The $3 game has three more $30,000 top prizes that haven’t yet been claimed, along with thousands of other prizes ranging from $3 to $1,153.

The retailer is a winner as well. For selling the $30,000 winner, La Plata Liquors, located at 503 E. Charles Street, will receive a $300 bonus from the Maryland Lottery.