A Maryland Lottery player from Hagerstown who claimed a $50,000 prize this week has a smoking hot idea for putting his winnings to work.
“I’m hoping to open a business in Hagerstown, a hookah bar,” said the winner. The 30-year-old is remaining anonymous but dubbed himself “Mr. Hookah” for Lottery publicity.
The Lottery regular said he enjoys playing “to have fun mainly, and have a chance at changing my life.” “Mr. Hookah” says he routinely sets aside a certain amount of money for Lottery fun and games. The Washington County resident often buys Lottery tickets when he is running family errands at Food Lion #1162 in Frederick. On a recent trip, he purchased a few $30 instant tickets but came up with no big winners.
“I like to play for the big money,” he explained. After having no luck on the high-dollar scratch-offs, “Mr. Hookah” bought three $5 Win Win Win instant tickets. The first two brought no luck, he said. When the family man scanned the QR code on the third scratch-off, a message flashed up to take the instant ticket to Lottery headquarters. Only then did he look closely at the instant ticket and realize it truly was a $50,000 top-prize winner.
Before spending anything on his planned hookah lounge – a project that already is underway – “Mr. Hookah” will make sure his top priority benefits from his big win. “It will help my family – my four kids,” he said.
Also picking up a monetary boost is Food Lion #1162 located at 2060 Yellow Springs Road in Frederick. The Frederick County retailer scores a bonus of $500, equal to 1 percent of the prize, for selling a top-prize winning scratch-off.