Bucky Lynch still hopes to get lucky.
But the owner of the 11-store Lucky convenience market chain will have to wait another two months to find out if he holds the winning ticket to expand into the seafood business.
When the Orchard Beach Fire Department decided to raffle off Captain Gilley's Seafood restaurant, Lynch saw a golden chance to keep his table loaded with fresh crabs and bought 100 tickets.
But his shot at winning the restaurant on Nabbs Creek Road nearly went up in smoke Friday, when the volunteer fire company failed to sell enough $100 tickets to have the drawing.
After an 11th-hour pitch to fire up sales didn't draw enough customers, the owner agreed to drop the price of his restaurant and extend the deadline until Nov. 30, said Bruce Smith, the assistant fire chief who arranged the unusual restaurant raffle.
"I almost wanted to cry Friday night," Smith said. "It looked pretty depressing until the owner agreed to drop the price."
The firefighters have sold 1,172 tickets so far, but must hawk another 628 in the next two months to conduct the raffle, he said.
Smith came up with the idea of raffling off the restaurant and carryout, originally appraised at $264,823, while talking with the owner over beers last spring. The owner, who said he is selling the business overlooking Stoney Creek for personal reasons and has asked not to be identified, seized the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
By running a raffle, the owner could simultaneously sell his place and also help raise $450,000 to buy a fire engine, floodlight and air masks for the fire department.
The department initially intended to sell 3,000 tickets, covering the cost of the fire equipment and the $264,823 appraisal, but had more than half left by last Friday. Even the most staunch supporters appeared reluctant to gamble on more than a couple tickets -- except Lynch, who bet $10,000 on what he considers a "good business opportunity."
Lynch said he doesn't plan to buy another $100 ticket, but figures his odds are improved. "I'm just going with these odds," he said. "It's better than a chance in the lottery." Tickets are on sale at the Lucky convenience stores in Anne Arundel County and South Baltimore, at the fire station on Solley Road, and at Bates Realty on Mountain Road through Nov. 30.