color photo of woman holding an oversized Maryland Lottery check with winnings
Barbara Phelps Anderson of Shady Side, MD was Contestant of the Game on May 16.

The Maryland Lottery is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with plans to award more than $1 million to players on May 24.

This week made one Baltimore Orioles fan extremely happy during the Home Run Riches Contestant of the Game.

During the Orioles game against the Los Angeles Angels on May 16, Orioles fan Barbara Phelps Anderson was selected as the Contestant of the Game, which on a normal day would mean she’d win $500 for being chosen, and $500 for each home run the Orioles hit. On this day, though, the Orioles hit their 50th home run of the season, so Anderson’s prize included an extra $50,000 to celebrate the milestone — both for the Orioles and the Maryland Lottery.

Anderson won a total of $51,500 by the end of the game, as the Os hit two home runs. Ryan O’Hearn hit the 49th homer in the second inning, and Ryan Mountcastle hit the 50th in the sixth.

“I was thinking, ‘Is this real?’ It felt like a dream. I’d like to thank Ryan Mountcastle,” said Anderson.

According to a press release from the Maryland Lottery, Anderson has been an Orioles fan for decades, and attended the 1983 World Series Game 1 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

“A love for the Orioles runs in the family,” Maryland Lottery officials said in the news release. “Anderson said that while watching the games on TV, she frequently gets on the phone with her grandson, an Air Force veteran who follows the Orioles from a military base in Kuwait, where he is now a civilian contractor.”

The Maryland Lottery will award another $50,000 prize to its Contestant of the Game on Aug. 29, the final drawing of the promotion for the baseball season.

But that’s not the only celebration the Lottery is running to honor its 50th anniversary.

Next week, on May 24 — 50 years after the Lottery held its inaugural drawing, when the Twin Win game delivered a $50,000 prize — the Lottery will hold the Thanks for Playing Promotion. Commemorating that historic day, they’ll give away more than 15,000 cash vouchers to Lottery customers with a total value of more than $1 million.

Vouchers valued at either $50 or $500 will be awarded statewide throughout the day with random purchases of draw game tickets or FAST PLAY tickets. Draw games include Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Bonus Match 5, Multi-Match, Keno, Racetrax, Powerball, Mega Millions and Cash4Life. To have a chance to receive a voucher, all Lottery customers need to do is play their favorite games on May 24.  

If a player has won a voucher, they will see a “Congratulations” message at the top of the ticket they purchased to inform them they won a voucher. The voucher will then be printed by the Lottery terminal or self-service vending machine immediately after the ticket is printed.

The half-century mark is also being celebrated with the 50th Anniversary Cash Bash Promotion. Players can enter $50 worth of any eligible draw game and FAST PLAY tickets, or non-winning scratch-off tickets into their My Lottery Rewards accounts for a chance to win cash prizes in monthly drawings. The Lottery will also select 10 finalists who will participate in the Cash Bash event at the Maryland State Fair in September. Each finalist will win at least $10,000, and one of them will have a chance to win up to $5 million.

“We’re having a lot of fun with our 50th anniversary year, and May 24, in particular, is a landmark date in our history,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin. “We’re excited to celebrate the occasion and say ‘thank you’ to our players across the state.”

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