Lotto winner can now afford to sleep in, and dream big

August 13, 1991|By Laura Lippman | Laura Lippman,Evening Sun Staff Monica Norton contributed to this report.

David K. Moreland can afford to dream big now.

But first he needs some shuteye.

The 33-year-old Lothian man has found it difficult to sleep since he matched the six numbers on his subscription lottery ticket with the Maryland Lotto numbers drawn Saturday night, making him the largest single winner in the state's history -- $21,077,615.60.

Moreland, a configurations management specialist at Martin Marietta in Glen Burnie, also is one of the biggest winners nationwide. Only five other single winners have picked up larger prizes, ranging from $35 million to $55.6 million.

He also is the largest subscription winner nationwide, according to the lottery's marketing director, Marty Goldman. Moreland was the state's 21st subscription winner, coming from a pool of players so small that lottery officials were almost ready to announce an even larger jackpot when the computer search turned up his winning ticket.

And what does Moreland say to all these statistics, all these questions about his new-found wealth?

"A major lifestyle decision like this requires some thought," said Moreland, whose sister describes him as level-headed.

No, he doesn't know what he wants to buy. He doesn't know where he's going to live. He isn't sure if he'll quit his job. He wasn't even sure what he was going to eat for dinner last night.

"Everybody says they'll quit their job, but you have to have something to do or you'll go crazy," said Moreland, a soft-spoken man who wore navy blue trousers, a pastel blue jacket and pale pink shirt, open at the neck.

His sister, Kathy Beckham, and brother-in-law, Mike Beckham, accompanied him to the Maryland State Lottery Agency's headquarters, where Moreland picked up his first check and presided over a press conference.

It was his sister who gave Moreland the subscription while he was an electrical engineering student at the University of Maryland College Park. Moreland has renewed it every year since then. The winning ticket -- 9-15-24-33-41-43 -- was one Moreland had played for about a year after getting it in a random computer selection.

When jackpots were especially large, Moreland said, he sometimes bought a few extra But it was the subscription ticket that proved lucky for him.

"I did it for the entertainment value," said Moreland, adding that he has few other vices. His gambling habit is a modest one, confined largely to the lottery. No racetracks, no casinos. "I've maybe played bingo at the beach," he said.

Moreland, who is single, lives at home with his parents, Elgin and Marjorie Moreland. Over the weekend, only his parents, his sister and brother-in-law knew about his good fortune.

But, instead of poring over travel brochures or talking about luxuries now within reach, the family just rented a couple of movies and watched them at home. Moreland read the newspaper, watched television and listened to the radio.

"It wasn't like a normal Sunday, I don't mean to imply that," he hastened to add.

Moreland may have to reconsider his definition of "normal," however.

Consider the reaction of Mary Branska, who was a little surprised to find out that someone she knew, or almost knew, was the sole winner.

"David? David Moreland? I don't believe it," Branska said. "I knew it was somebody from Anne Arundel County but I had no idea.

"Is he married? No. Well, he's going to have a lot of women interested," she added.

Branska, a hostess at the Wayson's Corner Restaurant in Lothian, said Moreland is a some time customer at the restaurant.

"I don't know him personally, but I wish I did," Branska said. "Maybe I will now."

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