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Bonanza Extravaganza has plenty of prizes

May 09, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A Clear Spring resident who wished to remain anonymous won the $100,000 grand prize drawing at Saturday's Bonanza Extravaganza, according to an event official.

A Greencastle, Pa., woman won $10,000 off a ticket she had told her husband not to buy.

The woman's husband, who is ill, hasn't been able to work in six months. She told him not to spent the money on the Bonanza Extravaganza tickets, which cost $100 each.

After she arrived at Saturday's event, she matched the winning ticket numbers against her tickets and found out she won a $10,000 prize in the 6 p.m. drawing. The woman called her husband from the event at the Hagerstown Speedway. He couldn't be there because of his medical condition.

She was laughing almost uncontrollably while on her cell phone. Bonanza officials could tell she was a winner.

"We really, desperately need this," said the woman, who asked that her name not be used.

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At one point, the woman kissed her lucky ticket. Her hands shook as she filled out the tax paperwork accompanying her prize.

The couple has hospital bills to pay, but her husband also wants to go on one last vacation, she said.

"He wants to go to Vegas one more time," she said.

The couple honeymooned there in 2000, she said. They haven't been on a vacation since.

Going to Las Vegas this year would be like a second honeymoon for the couple, one of the woman's friends said.

"This couldn't happen to a better person," her friend said.

A Manassas, Va., family is far more familiar with good luck.

"I think we've got a gambling problem," Benny McCoy said Saturday night as he filled out paperwork. His family won the 3 p.m. drawing for a Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.

Just months ago, they won $250,000 from a $5 scratch-off ticket.

"You can't win if you don't play," said his wife, Shannon McCoy. Her brother lives in Martinsburg, W.Va., and invited the McCoys to the event.

"They're really mad at me," Benny McCoy said. "It's really unbelievable. I really don't know what else to say."

They hadn't looked at the car yet, and weren't sure if they would take the Malibu or the cash option, he said.

But they will return, McCoy said.

"I'll probably drive the car to the Bonanza next year," he said.

John McIntyre got an early birthday present Saturday.

His birthday is Monday, and he won $1,000 Saturday night in a Bonanza drawing.

"Happy birthday to him," said his wife, Christine McIntyre.

But with the economy the way it is, the money likely will go toward bills, the couple said. John McIntyre also planned to use some of the cash to fund an upcoming trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for a bike week.

Donnie Rohrback of Big Pool also plans to use his $1,000 winnings to fund a bike trip, this one to Laconia, N.H., for a motorcycle rally in June.

Rohrback comes for the prizes, he said. He went to the event last year, too, but didn't win.

His $1,000 prize dwindled before his eyes as Rohrback filled out tax forms.

"The government always gets paid first," he said.

Federal taxes take 28 percent from the winnings, and Maryland taxes take 8.5 percent, event officials said.

John Murray, vice president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 1605 Foundation, the organization that hosts the event, has said the extravaganza is held to raise money for philanthropic causes in Hagerstown.

Firefighters spent $60,000 of the money that was raised last year to buy a van for the Antietam Healthcare Foundation to shuttle cancer patients to and from chemotherapy treatments. The van was on display Saturday at the speedway.

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