Cab driver scores big lottery win -- over and over

December 28, 2006|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,sun reporter

A taxi driver who is not intimidated by long odds stepped forward yesterday to claim a tax-free fortune from the Maryland Lottery.

Solomon Rexcampbell played the same combination of numbers 15 times Saturday in the nightly Bonus Match 5 game - despite odds of 1 in 191,919 against winning the top prize.

The top prize is usually $50,000, but with a prize pool for the drawing limited to $600,000, and more than 12 winners that night, the top-tier prize for each was reduced to $28,571.43.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Thursday's editions of The Sun on a taxi driver who bought 15 winning tickets to last Saturday's Bonus Match 5 game incorrectly reported the winning numbers of the drawing. They were 02 03 04 05 08, with a bonus ball of 30. In addition, the article should have explained that the man's overall winnings included not just the 15 top prizes, but also winnings from tickets that matched fewer numbers.
The Sun regrets the errors.

Lottery officials surmised that one person accounted for 15 of the winners, since all of those tickets had been purchased at the same 7-Eleven store in Bethesda. But who and why were a mystery until the 58-year-old Rexcampbell arrived at lottery headquarters in Southwest Baltimore.

"He said he's been playing those numbers for the last six months," said Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Gail Pelovitz."I guess when he hits, he wants to hit big."

Big amounted to $429,021 for Rexcampbell, and he'll get to keep every dollar because the game's top prize is awarded tax-free.

Rexcampbell said he picked the numbers - 02 03 05 07 08 and bonus ball 30 - based on a combination of his birthday and those of his two daughters, Pelovitz said. Rexcampbell, of Upper Marlboro, initially sat for a television interview but shied away from other media interviews later in the day, Pelovitz said.

"He told us he planned on giving some money to his church and buying a big house," she said.

Rexcampbell bought his first ticket at the 7-Eleven about 6 a.m. the day before Christmas Eve, then came back later in the day and picked up four more, lottery officials said. Each ticket costs $2 and gives players three chances to win - and he chose the same numbers for each chance.

As of yesterday, all but one of the 21 top-prize tickets had been redeemed - a ticket bought at Aspen Hill Beer & Wine in Silver Spring.

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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