Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A Maryland man who has never purchased a lottery ticket received a scratch-off as a birthday gift and won $30,000.
Walker Bazemore, 26, of Belcamp, told Maryland Lottery officials he asked his sister to pick up some sour cream on the way to his birthday party.
"My sister had exactly $3 in change, so she bought me a $3 lottery ticket," Bazemore said. "I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life -- still haven't -- so it was a new experience when she gave it to me."
Bazemore's first lottery experience turned out to be a positive one when he scratched off the Polar Payout ticket and discovered he had won the $30,000 top prize.
The winner said he had to take the ticket to a nearby retailer to verify the win because he didn't completely trust that it was real.
"My sister is a prankster, we both are," Bazemore said. "We're always trying to get one another. I really thought it was a joke when I saw the $30,000, that it was a fake ticket."
He said finding out the ticket was legitimate was a welcome surprise.
"It was sheer jubilation when the guy at the store ran it through the machine and told me it was a winner," he said. "This really is a life-changer for me."