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A retired utility worker has won a $2 million lottery ... for the second time

A customer purchases Powerball lottery tickets in Washington in 2012. The Maryland Lottery says a retired utility worker has won a $2 million prize for the second time since 2018.
Saul Loeb
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A customer purchases Powerball lottery tickets in Washington in 2012. The Maryland Lottery says a retired utility worker has won a $2 million prize for the second time since 2018.

A little over three years ago, a utility worker in Maryland won $2 million from a scratch-off lottery game that he bought for $30. Turns out his luck hasn't run out yet.

Last week, the Maryland Lottery announced that the now retired utility worker had won another $2 million in a scratch-off game rightfully named $2,000,000 Richer.

The man, whose name has not been made public, bought two scratch-offs for the game at a local Exxon station after running some morning errands, according to the Maryland Lottery.

While in his car, the first ticket revealed itself to be a $100 prize. Things only got better from there. When he scratched off the second ticket, it revealed a "Gold Bar" emblem indicating he had won a $2 million prize.

He hid the ticket in a safe

The man, 65, drove home and stashed the ticket in a safe. He waited to claim the prize money until days before the deadline because of the pandemic, according to the Maryland Lottery. He was nervous the entire time he was waiting.

"I worried that I could have a fire (at home) that would burn it up, that the ticket's expiration date might come up and even had just a bit of doubt that it was really real," he told the Maryland Lottery.

It was Déjà vu all over again

The first time he won, he also had trouble believing it was real. "I kept thinking this has to be one of those prank cards," he said in 2018.

When he bought his first winning ticket at an Eagle Express Mart, he didn't tell his wife until the next day because he was still in disbelief.

He wanted to use his first winnings to take his family on some "long overdue" vacations. He also wanted to put some of the money toward his retirement.

Now, the prize money will finance some home improvements and, of course, another family vacation.

He says his advice is to play for the fun of it

We can't all be lottery winners, but the seasoned winner had advice for those hoping to be just as lucky.

"Be realistic and make sure that when you play that you aren't just playing for the big jackpot," he said. "Play for enjoyment and as long as you enjoy what you are doing, win or lose, you've already won."

Tien Le is an intern on NPR's News Desk.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.