OCEAN CITY – For one Ocean City local, buying scratch-off lottery tickets and forgetting about them turned into the realization of one of her dreams.
Ocean City resident Lauren Buckler, 21, had purchased 15 of Maryland Lottery’s $2 Blackout Bingo tickets at 7-Eleven on 139th Street. She held onto them for a few days before she got around to scratching them off.
“I had sort of forgotten about them,” she said.
Buckler was bartending at Kirby’s Red Onion Bar and Grill last Wednesday when she remembered to scratch off her tickets. She had two couples sitting at the bar when she came across a winning ticket and they all began helping her count up her bingo spaces one-by one.
At first, Buckler was not sure how much her final prize was until the bingo card had become blacked out, revealing she had won the game’s final top prize of $30,000. At that point, she and the bar patrons rang out in excitement.
Buckler contacted her boyfriend, Michael Marciano, who at first couldn’t believe what he was hearing until he double checked the ticket.
“He always makes fun of me for buying scratch offs but when we found out I won $30,000 we both started screaming,” Buckler said. “Mike and I were literally jumping up and down, we were so excited.”
The next day Buckler and Marciano made the trip from Ocean City to lottery headquarters in Baltimore to turn in the winning $2 Blackout Bingo ticket. Upon arrival, she was told she was the final winner out of a total of 16 prizes.
“This is the most awesome-est, awesome thing ever,” she said at lottery headquarters, adding she plans to save the bulk of the prize, “I love the beach and Ocean City. I’m still going to do my normal thing and work six days a week.”
Buckler admitted her lucky strike calls for a bit of splurging and plans on taking herself on a shopping spree and taking a vacation in Disneyworld.
“We have been planning on going to Disney World for a while but we weren’t sure if we were going to have enough money,” Buckler said.
This will be Buckler’s first excursion to Disney World and what a better time to make her dream come true than to go during her upcoming birthday.
“I don’t think I will actually believe it until it is actually happening,” Buckler said of eventually receiving the check and depositing her winnings.
Since its inception in 1973, the Maryland Lottery has awarded nearly $21 billion in prizes to players and $13.3 billion in revenue to the State of Maryland.