By Danielle Chazen
Baltimore resident Saundra Frazier has been playing the Maryland Lottery every day for the past five years, but it was be a losing ticket that granted her the opportunity of a lifetime.
|Al Bizzelle, Adam Jones and Saundra Frazier (Courtesy of Saundra Frazier)|
Frazier, 51, has been a diehard Orioles fan since she was 10 years old and began attending games with her seven older siblings when the team was still playing at "The Old Gray Lady of 33rd Street."
After scratching the front and peeling the back of a Double-Play ticket she purchased in Dundalk, Frazier entered the non-winning ticket online for a chance to win a baseball-related prize with the Maryland Lottery Double Play Contest.
Days later, Frazier was dumbfounded when she received a call from the Maryland Lottery notifying her that she was the grand prize winner for the month of July and would receive $250 and a VIP, behind-the-scenes experience with her beloved team.
"I couldn't jump up and down and scream and shout like I wanted to because I was at work when I received the call, but I was completely stunned," Frazier said. "It was miraculous because the last two digits of the scratch-off were 77. I graduated high school in '77, the last two digits of the tags on my car are 77 and the last two numbers on the ticket were 77."
On July 16, Frazier and her fiancé of six months, Al Bizzelle, spent the day with O's, toured the training room and locker area, met manager Buck Showalter and were greeted by 1970 Oriole MVP Boog Powell. Frazier even got to walk the Orioles' lineup out to the umpires.
"I joked with Buck that I would be his good-luck charm for the night and he told me, 'If we win tonight, you're invited back on me.' "
That night, the Orioles broke their nine-game losing streak and Showalter invited the couple back July 19 to sit directly behind home plate. With Frazier's luck, the team defeated the Boston Red Sox, 6-2.
"My experience was just amazing," Frazier said. "I was glowing all day and I didn't want it to end. The hospitality was excellent. From the players to the managers to the people at the lottery, they were all just incredible. I really felt like a VIP."
Maryland Lottery Double Play Scratch-Off Top Contestant of the Game Winners:
1. Carolyn Jones, Baltimore, April 9 (Game 1), $3,000
2. Nicholas Fino, Reisterstown, April 9 (Game 2), $3,000
3. Tanisha Richmond-Mills, Upper Marlboro, July 6, $3,000
4. John Richter III, Baltimore, April 13, $2,000
5. William Slunt Jr., Dundalk, April 15, $2,000
6. Barbara Myers, Hagerstown, April 24, $2,000
7. Dale Timms, Centreville, April 28, $2,000
8. Raymond Gable, Forest Hill, May 13, $2,000
9. Mary Fitzpatrick, Bel Air, May 18, $2,000
10. Carmine Lamberti, Glen Burnie, May 22, $2,000
11. Andy Hanas, Stevensville, May 26, $2,000
12. Russell Prince, Hughesville, June 5, $2,000
13. Karen Cahall, Goldsboro, June 10, $2,000
14. Jennifer Smeton, Bel Air, June 20, $2,000
15. Dottie Jenkins, Baltimore, June 21, $2,000
16. Anthony Tilghman, Baltimore, June 22, $2,000
17. Stacey Ogren, Baltimore, June 30, $2,000
18. Donna Pelligrini, Baltimore, July 9, $2,000
19. Ginger Macklin, Sykesville, July 19, $2,000
20. Charlotte Mattison, Baltimore, July 20, $2,000
21. Dolores Skalski, Dundalk, July 23, $2,000
22. Patricia Beale, Baltimore, August 6, $2,000
(As of Aug. 10)
More Front Row:
• The Bubba Smith That Few Knew
• Nightmare Journeys: Dreams Come True
• Wounded Warriors Get Boost From PING
• 'Rhythm Boys' Recounts Sporting Struggle
• Frazier's Good Luck Rubs Off On Orioles
• From The Cheap Seats
Issue 164: August 2011