$8 million jackpot comes just in time

January 12, 1993|By Edward L. Heard Jr. | Edward L. Heard Jr.,Staff Writer

Saturday's Lotto drawing came just in time for Bobby Holbrook, a Cecil County resident who was laid off from his job last week.

He and his girlfriend beat the odds and won an $8 million jackpot.

"I'm tickled to death," said Mr. Holbrook, 46, after he and his girlfriend, Rita Blankenship, claimed their prize at State Lottery Agency headquarters on Reisterstown Road yesterday afternoon.

Mr. Holbrook's future was uncertain when he was laid off from his job as caretaker at the Natural Lands Trust Inc. Now, he can relax.

Ms. Blankenship, 40, who had worked at Blue-Chip Products Inc. in Elkton for nine months, called her employer yesterday morning and resigned, lottery officials said.

The Earleville residents bought the winnning random ticket at Slavin's Market about 7 p.m. Saturday night, about an hour before the drawing.

But they were unaware of their good fortune until Sunday, when Ms. Blankenship heard a news report that the prize had not yet been claimed -- and, more important, that the winning ticket was sold in Cecil County.

She quickly called her mother who read her the winning numbers -- 10, 16, 20, 39, 40, 43 -- and then confirmed them with the local market.

She and Mr. Holbrook were winners.

"I didn't really believe it at first," said Ms. Blankenship. "It's still hard to believe it was us."

"She was jumping up and down," said Mr. Holbrook. "She woke me up and jerked me off of the couch."

For the next 20 years, the couple will receive $400,000 a year before taxes.

Plans for the money include a new van and a fishing boat for Mr. Holbrook. "I'd like to travel some and get a house built for my mother," said Ms. Blankenship.

The odds of winning Lotto are 1 in 7 million.

The last Lotto jackpot comparable to Saturday's was worth $8.5 million. It was won in April 1992 by a married couple in Hancock, Washington County.

Lotto drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday.

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