Maybe the third time is the charm.
T.W. Smith of Fort Worth has already won two big prizes — $1,000 and $1 million — through the Texas Lottery.
Who knows what he might win next?
“I’m at the store right now trying to scratch off another win,” he told the Lottery Commission this week.
He became the first person this week to claim the top prize in the new 20X Cash scratch-off game, a $20 ticket that gives gamblers 20 chances to win prizes on the ticket range from $20 to $1 million.
Smith, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, bought the ticket at the EZ Mart No. 489, at 100 E. Bardin Road in Arlington.
Lottery officials say there are still four more $1 million prizes yet to be awarded in the 20X Cash game, which is offering more than $76 million overall in prizes, that have yet to be claimed.
The odds of winning any prize in this game are one in 3.05.
Smith told the Lottery Commission during a trip to Austin to claim his prize — on Tuesday, a day with potentially lucky numbers, 11-12-13 — that he prefers scratch-off tickets to Lotto drawings.
But he said he doesn’t have a special winning trick.
“I just go with the new ones,” he said. “Whenever a new game comes out, I’ll try it.”
In February, he claimed a $1,000 prize from another scratch-off lottery game, 10X Mega Money.
“Many winners have a special system they think will improve their chances, but sometimes the simplest ideas work out the best,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery.
The EZ Mart store where Smith bought his ticket is eligible for a $10,000 retailer bonus. EZ Mart employees didn’t respond to a request for a comment.
Tarrant County has had its share of winners, from both Lotto drawings and scratch-off tickets.
Earlier this year, the T.C. Smith Trust claimed a $16 million Lotto Texas ticket sold at the Valero Corner Store, 4150 Bryant Irvin Road. And before that, 10 Bell Helicopter co-workers claimed a $28 million prize sold at the Crossroads Shell Station on Western Center Boulevard in Fort Worth.
The Texas Lottery began selling tickets in 1992. Since then, officials say, it has generated $21 billion in revenue for the state and given out $41 billion in prizes.