July 6 (UPI) -- A Maryland man who won $50,000 from a scratch-off ticket said he initially thought the ticket was a loser and gave it away to a friend.
The 67-year-old Baltimore County man told Maryland Lottery officials he bought a $5 Gold scratch-off ticket along with several other tickets from Nikki's Discount Liquors in Baltimore.
The man said he scratched off all the tickets and then, thinking none of them were winners, gave them away to a friend to enter into the My Lottery Rewards program for second-chance prizes.
The friend discovered the Gold ticket was a top prize winner when he tried to enter into the program and it was rejected.
"He told me he had to verify the ticket twice to make sure it was real," the winner said. "The next day when he gave me the ticket, he said 'You're lucky I like you!'"
The man said he was grateful to his friend for returning the ticket.
"I gave him the biggest hug and almost cried," he said. "I really don't know how I missed that it was a winner."
The winner said he plans to use his winnings to pay off his truck loan and make home improvements.