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A Maryland man has been playing the same numbers for the past 15 years. Not special numbers, just ones he picked at random. Finally he cashed in a big lottery win, over $100,000. Here’s the story from the Washington Post:

Md. man played same lottery numbers for 15 years. Last week, it paid off.

The five numbers Chris Hoffman played in the Maryland lottery for 15 years never meant anything special to him — until he won.

Hoffman said they were just random numbers he chose: 3, 6, 9, 20, 21. He’s not even sure why.

“They’re numbers I picked years ago and just stuck with them,” he said Monday, three days after his wallet got a little bit thicker.

Hoffman bought a $6 Bonus Match Five ticket from Ranch Liquor at Lusby Town Square on July 31. Then he bought two more tickets featuring the same five numbers.

“I just got this crazy feeling the other night and I played it,” he said.

Hoffman couldn’t quite describe that lucky feeling but said that in the past, an itchy palm nearly always meant money was coming his way. And come it did.

$150,017.

“It’s a big thrill,” he said.

Hoffman, a husband and father of three, said he plans to use his winnings to pay off his truck, a 2009 “Redskins Red” Chevrolet Silverado, and will use the rest of the money for a down payment on a house.

To win, players must select five numbers, one to 39, and hope they match the same five selected for the daily drawing. Prizes in the game range from $2 to $50,000, and players can win on multiple tickets, as Hoffman did Saturday. The 50-year-old Lusby resident said each time he bought a ticket he used the same strategy: buy three tickets with identical numbers at a cost of $18.

Over the years, Hoffman, who works as a pressman at The Washington Post, said he had matched four out five numbers about 20 times. His near misses won him about $400 each time on each card. On Saturday, however, he matched all five, a 1 in more than 500,000 chance. That meant he won $50,000 for each ticket he purchased. He also won smaller amounts on one of the cards, netting him another $17.

“It’s not that often, but we’ve had it happen before,” said Doug Lloyd, a spokesman for the Maryland Lottery.

In 2007, a Mount Airy man won $100,000 from two tickets with matching numbers. In 2006, a woman thought she was buying a single ticket at a Stop, Shop and Save in Baltimore. She accidentally printed four identical ones and won $200,000.

Although the game has a relatively low grand prize total in comparison to the millions that can be won in games like Powerball, it has garnered a very loyal fan base as Hoffman has proved by playing faithfully for over a decade. Hoffman figures he has earned about $10,000 for every year he spent buying lottery tickets — before taxes at least…

 

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