For as long as Maryland has sold scratch-off lottery tickets, Nancy Bowers said she has been buying them.
But for the first time, the little tickets brought the Smithsburg resident a huge payoff.
A few days before Christmas, Nancy and her husband, Dennis Bowers, purchased a winning Maryland Lottery Cash Lines scratch-off ticket worth $30,000, according to the Maryland Lottery.
The top prize for a Cash Line ticket is $30,000, said Gail Pelovitz, lottery spokeswoman.
The Bowerses bought the ticket at Cavetown Liquors in Smithsburg while they were out Christmas shopping, Nancy Bowers said.
That day, neither was in a hurry to see if they had won, she said, so they left the tickets in her car while they did some shopping.
"I can't believe I so casually left them in the car," she said in a lottery news release. "If someone had broken in, it would have been their lucky day."
Instead it was the Bowerses' lucky day.
Back at their home in Smithsburg, Dennis Bowers had the honor of scratching the ticket, Nancy Bowers said.
"He said, 'Baby, I got a winner,'" she said. "I didn't believe him."
After confirming that the ticket was indeed worth $30,000, the reality of the win started sinking in for the retired couple, she said.
Over the years, the Bowerses have scratched many winning tickets, but none valued more than about $75, Nancy Bowers said.
After taxes, the ticket will be valued at about $19,725, Pelovitz said.
The couple is looking forward to using the money to improve their home, Nancy Bowers said.
They are also planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, she said.
Nancy Bowers said she wants to walk on the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass-bottomed cantilever observation deck that spans 70 feet over the canyon's rim.