A long-haul trucker was driving on the job when he stopped in Maryland for a sandwich, fuel and some scratch-off lottery tickets.
The pit stop paid off.
Thomas Spangler “drives all over the East Coast and into the Midwest,” so he’s played the lottery many times in different states and even won before, the Maryland Lottery said in a Nov. 16 news release. The biggest prize Spangler had ever won was $2,000.
It was nothing compared to the $100,000 top prize he won in Maryland from the $100,000 Ca$h game.
Spangler, of northeastern Tennessee, told lottery officials he buys tickets whenever he takes a break from driving to get a meal or fuel up. This time he was on his way to pick up a load of tractors in Baltimore, according to the release.
It was part of his routine to get the scratch-offs when he stopped at the gas station about 6 miles from the Maryland-Pennsylvania state line in North East, Maryland.
In the past, Spangler said his eyes had tricked him into thinking he had won big, when really he hadn’t. So when he revealed the prize on his Maryland ticket, he told officials he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“I started scratching and I thought I won $100,” he said. “I was happy, then I had to stare at it for 30 seconds to be sure I won.”
The 65-year-old said these kinds of wins are rare in his family.
“The family says, there’s great luck, good luck, bad luck and Spangler luck,” he told lottery officials.
He said he plans to use some of the money to pay off a car loan and put the rest into savings.
“Nothing like this has ever happened to me,” he told lottery officials. “It couldn’t have happened at a better time.”
The Cecil County gas station has earned a $1,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, officials said.
The 100,000 Ca$h game debuted in September, and now 59 top prizes of $100,000 remain, alongside other smaller prizes, according to the lottery website.
Many people can gamble or play games of chance without harm. However, for some, gambling is an addiction that can ruin lives and families.
If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.