Locked safe leads 78-year-old scratch-off winner to an unexpected $1 million windfall


Bill stayed anonymous behind his $1 million scratch-off winner’s check. PHOTO: Maryland Lottery

It started with a $500 win on June 4. And ended that same day with a strange chain of events which gave ‘Bill’ an additional million-dollar prize.

A loyal lottery player since 1973, the Baltimore fan nicknamed “It’s About Time Bill” started on the road to good fortune when he visited his local lottery retailer.


Bill bought his $1 million winning scratch-off card from Quick Mart at 8604 Loch Raven Boulevard in Towson. PHOTO: Google Maps.


He wanted to buy several of the $5 Gold Bar Bingo scratch-offs. Once he sat down and played them, “It’s About Time Bill” discovered he’d won $500.

When the happy player went to to retrieve his winnings, the cashier broke the bad news.

“The lady told me that the manager is the only person who can pay me because the money was locked in a safe,” said the winner, a 78-year-old grandfather of three.

“It wasn’t a problem. I just left and went up the road to my other favorite store where I sit down and play while my friends play Racetrax. When I got there, I planned on buying more bingo tickets.”

This is the point in the story where “It’s About Time Bill,” a fishing and crabbing enthusiast, tried new things.

He said he rarely purchases $20 scratch-offs.

Because he won $500, the loyal player decided to splurge on an instant ticket with a higher price.

He picked the $20 Monopoly scratch-off.

And it delivered the biggest prize of his life - $1 million!


So “It’s About Time Bill” told his wife about the big win, but she didn’t believe him until he sent her a photo from the Maryland Lottery Winner’s Circle that showed him holding a ceremonial check.

“She just texted me back,” the happy winner told lottery officials. “She said, ‘Well, I guess this is real! I’m already looking for our new home.’ ”

“It’s About Time Bill” laughed as he read the text aloud. “I guess this means she will retire soon and we’re moving to Delaware!”


Quick Mart in Towson also has a reason to celebrate. The convenience store will earn a $1,000 bonus from the Maryland Lottery for selling the top-prize scratch-off in the game.

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