Want to win the lottery in Maryland? Here’s where winners cash in their tickets
If you’re excited about the size of the current lottery pot here’s a guide to where you might want to start. Wochit
When it comes to the lottery, you have to play if you want to win.
But if you really want to win, it helps to have some facts on your side.
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission is in charge of the stores that sell lottery tickets and it tracks at which stores winners cash their tickets.
A Delmarva Now analysis of 2017 and 2018 data from the commission found that lottery players across the state redeemed $1,830,694,410 in winnings over the two years.
Locally, players in Worcester County won big, cashing in $25,075,046.30 in winning tickets in 2017 and 2018, with more than $10 million of that earned in Ocean City alone. Wicomico County redeemed $24,373,710.35, primarily in Salisbury, while Somerset County saw $6,308,824.40 in winning tickets.
If you want to be one of those future winners, a good place to start might be to consider what games and locations where past winners have played. It’s not a sure-fire method to win, but it probably wouldn’t hurt.
If you’re excited about the size of the current lottery pot here’s a guide to where you might want to start.
I’m willing to go anywhere for a chance to win. Where should I start?
The biggest winners of 2017 cashed their tickets at Gem Liquors on Annapolis Road in Lanham. There, players redeemed $1,793,600 playing Pick 4 Evening. In 2018, Landover Hills Exxon in Landover took the lead — those players won $1,724,163 in instant win games, better known as scratch-offs.
The two stores are just about 10 minutes away from each other.
The single store to cash the most money was E-Z Convenience on Loch Raven Boulevard in Towson, where lottery players redeemed $10,659,577.80 in tickets between 2017 and 2018. When combining all stores, players won the most money in Prince George’s County. There, people won a total of $376,455,680.20 in cash prizes.
If you’re not willing to cross the bay, the winningest county on this side of the state is Cecil County. Elkton, the county seat, has the biggest sum total of winnings there.
Where do players win in Wicomico, Worcester or Somerset counties?
The store with the biggest redemptions locally is Chicken Man in Salisbury, where people have redeemed tickets worth $3,065,237.60. People there cash in primarily on scratch-offs and Pick 4 Mid-day. The third-highest winning game is Keno.
Ocean Downs Casino Cage in Berlin brings in a lot of winners as well. Once again, scratch-offs and Pick 4 Evening drawings are the big winners there, but people redeemed a decent amount of tickets — a sum total of $222,079.50 — for RaceTrax, a computer-animated game that the Maryland Lottery website says “offers the thrill of horse racing and the payout and prizes of a Keno game.”
If you don’t care which store has had a lot of past tickets cashed and instead just want to visit a winning city, try Salisbury, Ocean City, Berlin, Fruitland or Princess Anne. (Keep in mind, however, those cities have large totals of winning in no small part because they have more stores and likely have more people playing.)
Location doesn’t matter. Which games have people winning the most money?
As you may have guessed for local big winners, the sum total of scratch-offs seem to be where people are able to make the most money. Players cashed in a total $84,3942,173 in scratch-off tickets in 2017 and 2018.
The odds change slightly from one instant win game to the next, so it’s up to you on which game you play. For what it’s worth, the tickets with the probability most in your favor are “$2,000,000 Richer,” “$2,000,000 Mega Bucks” and “$2,000,000 Fortune,” all of which have 1 in 2.82 odds according to the Maryland Lottery website. The scratch-off odds least in your favor come from “Win $50 or $100,” which has a 1 in 9.23 probability.
A total of $750.9 million in sales were recorded in scratch-off sales in fiscal year 2018, marking the fourth consecutive year of record-breaking sales.
The second-highest sum total of cash prizes is redeemed from RaceTrax winners. In RaceTrax, the probability of winning depends on the horse number you choose. The probability of win per $1 bet is 4.5 for horse no. 1, and 45.05 for horse no. 12. The odds for show rise to 1.7 for horse no. 1 and 13.2 for horse no. 12. That said, successfully better on horse no. 12 wins you $30, while a successful bet on horse no. 1 earns you only $3.
The third- and fourth-highest sum total of cash prizes come from Keno and Keno Super Bonus, respectively.
In Keno, players pick numbers and make wagers on those numbers. Winners are paid based on how many numbers were chosen, how many of those numbers match the winning ones and the wager the player made. Keno Super Bonus gives players a shot to multiply their winnings by up to 20 times.
Perhaps surprsingly to those who consider themselves to be less-than-avid lottery players, games like PowerBall and Mega Millions don’t top these lists even though they have larger jackpots. There are a few reasons for that, one of which being that Maryland players don’t win those games as often as they are shared between several states.
Another is that winning the full jackpot on those games, which is the huge number you hear about in the headlines, can be very, very difficult. While the odds of winning the PowerBall jackpot, for instance, is 1 in 292,201,338, whereas the odds of winning a Cash Explosion scratch-off is 1 in 2.96.
Does following along with this story mean I will win the lottery?
The short answer is no.
This story simply draws on 2017 and 2018 winnings databases shared by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission with Delmarva Now through a public records request. To make a large single database, winning stores were joined with their addresses using retailer numbers and combined into a large single database.
Scratch off winners are displayed at the Chicken Man Food Store located on Snow Hill Rd. In Salisbury, Md. (Photo: Staff Photo by Megan Raymond)
It goes without saying that just because a store has a lot of winners doesn’t mean that store is a guaranteed winner in the future. While many people will cash their ticket winning at the store they bought it from, not everyone does — one theoretically could buy a ticket in Salisbury worth $500 and cash it on the other side of the state.
It’s also worth noting that only certain stores around the state, part of the state’s
“Expanded Cashing Authority Program,” can cash tickets larger than $600 but less than $5,001. Those stores meet certain protocols set by Maryland Lottery and keep more cash on hand to anticipate larger tickets.
Tickets between $5,001 and $25,000 must be redeemed at the Maryland Lottery’s Customer Resource Center in Baltimore, at the cashiers’ windows at Live! Casino in Hanover or at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill. Anything more than $25,001 must be redeemed at the Maryland Lottery’s office in Baltimore.
Don’t worry — if you win, Maryland does not require you to reveal your identity as happens is required in many states. However, it does make it difficult to know if the same people are winning the lottery over and over again or if each win belongs to a different person.
There’s a chance that using this story to win the lottery will lead to success, but there’s also a much larger chance it doesn’t. Playing doesn’t equal a win, and if you find yourself gambling too much, there are resources out there to help.
What does the Maryland Lottery do with the money it makes?
According to a document put out by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission, 61 percent of the money (more than $1.2 billion) from sales goes to player prizes. Profit makes up 28.2 percent of the sales.
The profits from lottery sales go to projects around the state, although allocation is determined by the Maryland General Assembly. In fiscal year 2018, about 92 percent of profits went to the Maryland General Fund.
The Maryland Stadium Authority and Baltimore City Schools gets $20 million each, and there are a few other organizations who also benefit from the profit.You gotta play to win, but it helps to play in the right place.
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