Lottery winnings didn't change Hagerstown native

July 02, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

MAUGANSVILLE -- Something happened to Harry Leroy Hamby more than 23 years ago that might have had a negative effect on some people, but not him.

The Hagerstown native, who died Thursday at the age of 90, won the Maryland Lotto in April 1985, sharing six winning numbers with four other people for a total of $11.1 million before taxes.

His daughter, Peggy Hawbaker, said the money never changed her father's lifestyle - right up to the day he died.

"Dad stayed in the same house," Hawbaker said.

She had been caring for her father in that Maugansville house as his health deteriorated.

Hawbaker pointed out her father always bought a new Cadillac every two years, but she noted he did that both before and after he won the money.

After taxes, Hamby's share was about $87,000 the first year and $89,000 per year for the next 19 years, according to published reports in 1985.


Hamby served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, and retired from the Western Maryland Railway in 1979.

From 1937 to 1940, Hamby owned and operated the Cut Rate Market in the South End of Hagerstown.

After the Lotto win, Hamby continued doing the two things that he previously enjoyed - volunteering at the Western Maryland Hospital Center and playing golf.

Hawbaker said her father told her right before he died that one never should let money go to one's head because there always are people who are worse off.

At the end, he touched her cheek and called her "my little girl," she said.

"The hardest thing for dad was when he lost his wife, Beverly, in 1993," Hawbaker said of her late stepmother. "He always said you can't buy health, no matter how much money you have."

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