LANHAM, Md. – He may not remember that 2023 was the 50th anniversary year for the Maryland Lottery, but it’s hard to imagine a father of two from New Carrollton will forget that 2023 was the year he became a Lottery multimillionaire.
The player, who is going by the nickname “Happy Dad” to tell his story of winning big, is an enthusiastic scratch-off player. Like many people who enjoy scratch-offs, he was eager to try Maryland’s first $50 scratch-off, 50 Years!, which is the hottest selling scratch-off in the state and has a $5 million top prize.
The instant ticket is part of the Lottery’s celebration of 50 years of fun and games, and went on sale Feb. 20 with three $5 million top prizes available. “Happy Dad” is the first person to win that top prize, leaving nine at the $100,000 level, six at the $50,000 level and 80 at the $10,000 level.
The winner claimed his prize on March 13 at Maryland Lottery headquarters in Baltimore. He was all smiles and could barely contain his excitement. Asked how he reacted when he realized he won, “Happy Dad” said simply, “Very surprised.” His previous personal best scratch-off prize was about $1,000.
With his winnings, the Prince George’s County resident plans to pay off the mortgage on his house and pay bills. Although that will still leave a lot of money in reserve, “Happy Dad” points out that he has two kids, ages 12 and 14, who will soon need his financial help to go to college.
Once the excitement fades and the reality sets in, he plans to have a celebration with his family – including a brother who accompanied him to claim his prize.
Sharing in “Happy Dad’s” good luck is Liquor City at 9115 Annapolis Road in Lanham, where the scratch-off was purchased. The Prince George’s County retailer receives a bonus of $5,000 from the Lottery.