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Hagerstown man wins $5 million in Big Game

September 23, 1997

By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Staff Writer

A unemployed Hagerstown man will be rich but not famous thanks to some lucky selections and Maryland Lottery officials' agreement not to release his identity.

The man - the only player to match all six numbers selected for Friday's Big Game $5 million jackpot - requested anonymity when he showed up to collect his winnings Monday morning, according to a lottery spokeswoman.

It's a rare request but one lottery officials will honor, said Theresa Battaglia, assistant director of public affairs for the Maryland Lottery.

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"It all depends on the person, the personality," Battaglia said.

The man, who has been unemployed for 2 1/2 years, purchased his winning $3 ticket for the Big Game at the Sheetz convenience store on Virginia Avenue in Halfway on the day of the drawing, according to a press release.

He found out he won the following day, when he read the winning numbers - 26-31-32-43-46 and Big Money Ball 01 - in the newspaper, the release said.

He will receive his $5 million winnings in $250,000 annual installments over the next 20 years.

The man is the third jackpot winner from Maryland since the multi-state Big Game started in August 1996, Battaglia said.

All Maryland winners have hit the jackpot this year, starting on June 13 when a Prince George's County man won a $16 million jackpot, she said.

A Howard County man won a $5 million jackpot on July 25, Battaglia said.

Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois and Massachusetts participate in the weekly game, which has a minimum jackpot of $5 million, she said.

Drawings are Friday nights at 11:05 p.m.

The Hagerstown man is the 11th Washington County lottery player to win $1 million or more from the Maryland Lottery since 1985.

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