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Celebrating places like Costas that have been with The Maryland Lottery for all 50 years


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The 50th Anniversary celebration of the Maryland Lottery kicked off right where it all began: under the “whiskey and lottery” sign at Costas Inn in Dundalk. The Director of the Maryland Lottery John Martin joined Pete Triantafilos and Nestor to tell a special story about the local partnerships over a half century of picking winners and having fun.


lottery, people, ticket, game, years, buy, places, costas, honoring, pete, friends, homerun, retailers, maryland, john, crab, business, 50th, keno, state


Pete Triantafilos, John Martin, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:00

Welcome back WNST Baltimore and Baltimore positive I haven’t one of the most Baltimore positive places it says cost this above my head. I finally got rid of that. That golden black Costas thing and I got some some perfect white here going on. opening week we’ve moved opening days since you’ve been here it’s the 50th anniversary of the Maryland lottery. So I’m brought to you by our friends winter nation in a letter asking couldn’t be here but he sent his his mallet and I still have never used that this is special mount though. It has a beer opener on the other side so big thanks for asking when their nation but the king of the hill is here and John Martin I would say this to you I got here 1130 today and I thought everybody said said we’re doing a little thing over cost is 50 years we’re gonna honor Pete family and and at first vendor and I thought well, I’ll get there a little early maybe do my hair a little special. I had no idea you brought a whole army here’s a full on promotion you brought


John Martin  00:57

here I had no idea Nestor I had no idea what was happening. Did you

Nestor Aparicio  01:01

know all this was going on? They were they were spinning a wheel in here.

Pete Triantafilos  01:04

I was in the dark. I just came in and the army just kept coming in. But it’s

Nestor Aparicio  01:10


it was like ants marching here John, you know all of these folks. First things first, we’re here celebrating 50th anniversary. I’ve got all the old logos and all the old school stuff that goes on I’m also given away the enchilada Ken’s very happy because he he got a winning ticket or here earlier cost is But today’s the kickoff of the whole thing. And I’ve been doing these luncheons with you and Roz and Carol once and for years and years and years. And I bet it was before the plague, even maybe 1819 You guys would stand up in front of everyone and say our 50th is coming. Our 50th has come and we’re gonna make a big deal about it. Today’s literally the kickoff of the kickoff, right.

John Martin  01:49

It is and we are very proud of all the relationships we have with our retailer. Universe, we have 4400 retailers, but only about 30 of them have been with us for nearly 50 years. And we’re very honored that Costas in has been with us from day one. And it has been a great relationship. And we thought it was appropriate that when we start this several weeks of honoring and recognizing retailers that this is where we needed to start, it had to start here with Pete and his crew. They’ve been very kind and great partners over 50 years. And we’re just pleased and proud that we could be here to help honor not only what they do for us, but also a little tip of the cap to their 50 year plus legacy.

Nestor Aparicio  02:31

Thank you didn’t get a proper 50s Because you were like a prom child. It fell in the middle of the plague a little bit it

Pete Triantafilos  02:37

was right during COVID. So we had to downplay it a little bit. But we we did the best we could and we had a nice celebration and celebrated 50 years and now we’re


Nestor Aparicio  02:45

over 52 I made him make me crab toast for that one. And he brought out this platter like 58, crab toast and stuff like that. And I saw what he did for you guys, but the lottery side of your business. And we talk about crabs, crab cakes, you talk about all the celebrities that come through your eye before I even get the door Tony Siragusa staring at me. And then that was warms my heart, especially since we lost them. But for you, your family, someone like Mike came in here, one of the sales guys came in here and said, We’re going to start selling numbers here 1972 73 And your dad’s here. And you said, Yeah, we want to do this. And I know you have a store, we

Pete Triantafilos  03:24

jumped right on. I mean, we knew the lottery was coming to Maryland, we just you know, we wanted to be a part of that. And we were one of the you know, first retailers and there was a handful. I mean, you had the drive miles to go to another retailer. And then five, six years later, I mean, they are popping up everywhere. You had a lottery ah, and they were just, you know, multiplying, multiplying and rapidly. And but you know, being one of the first and it’s been a great partnership, but it’s definitely evolved over the years of the analog, archaic machines that were at the time they were state of the art. Well, you actually

Nestor Aparicio  03:59

add John, and I talked about this every week. So what did they bring your dad? Like? What? What? Okay, we’re going to do this, what are the tickets? How’s it on the up and up? As I always say, like, I don’t I have no idea how it even functioned. You know, I was five years old at the time. Yeah. Was there a machine? Or were they tickets?

Pete Triantafilos  04:19


No, no, there was a, there was a machine that you would just punch in the three digit number straight box combination. And that was it. There’ll be a line, and that lottery whiskey line, and people would just play a lottery. And then you would take the tickets and physically add up the total because there wasn’t a mechanism to total the number of the amount that was owed. And yeah, it was. It was time consuming, you know, but people waited and people played. And it’s amazing that you tried to do that today. That won’t work. Everything’s so instant and fast.

Nestor Aparicio  04:51

Well, I was telling your uncle over in the bar a little while everybody hears family and that’s the way it’s rolled here forever and ever. And you know, I was looking at the old the machine and we were talking about how many years you’d been here. And I looked up at the racing the racetracks promotion. And it’s almost like real horses like you catch out of the corner of your eye and it feels like you’re watching racing. And I’m thinking to myself, John, for you three digits, then you go four digits, then we’re gonna have this lotto, then we’re gonna have a million dollars, then we’re gonna do Keno now I was on the radio, I’ve been already 31 years I remember when Keno rolled out. And that was another thing. But having folks like Costas, that you do business with to say, we’re going to do a new thing, a new game, a new machine, a new way to do this. We’re gonna roll out Powerball, we’re gonna roll out mega million. All of these things to have willing partners is the only way this function long before the internet, right?

John Martin  05:46

Oh, absolutely. I mean, that’s how you grow a business. That’s how you begin the business. And this was long before I got into the industry. But you know, I love hearing stories like, like, Pete tells of the early days. You know, we are we started selling tickets in May 15 1973. And the first drawing was May 24 1973. And scratch off tickets didn’t come around for three years after that. 1976. But then you right, you start to look at a progression of things. And we had a $1 scratch off ticket. And then people sat around in meeting rooms and said, Gee, do you think we should try a $2? Scratch off ticket? Will they buy it? Will people not buy it?

Nestor Aparicio  06:23

What if we put cherries on it? Exactly. Willy Wonka? Right. Right. Right. So


John Martin  06:28

you start to evolve. We have a pick three number G, what do we put a pic for number when people you know? And now it’s comical, right? I mean, you think of the the exponential growth in a lot of businesses lottery notwithstanding, but a lot of businesses, man, those early days, those pioneer days, were just great learnings. But you look at it today in retrospect and we make decisions, you know, in seconds and hours and days that might have taken months of agonizing

Nestor Aparicio  06:56

and have years of research that go into making a good decision. And

Pete Triantafilos  06:59

not to mention now what $50 A ticket? Right?

Nestor Aparicio  07:03


You know, I have one of those in the bag. And they brought me all sorts of things that Pete for went on. And Mr. C may get you know, he may be imbibing over the bar over Mr. Kazi. She’s coming a little later on. But you have folks here that are very engaged in John’s games in lottery games in a lot of ways. And now we have mobile gaming, and I’m watching your real game. And in the third inning, they’re telling me whether I want my bed or not in the broadcast. So we’ve moved to a different level of all of this. But the people that enjoy lottery games, in places like you that sort of specialize in giving you a place to hang out, have a crabcake stay a while watch a game have a beer, that the level of engagement for your bar specifically, I always see people playing the lottery in here always.

Pete Triantafilos  07:49

Oh, yeah, it’s a great, it’s a great flow. I mean, people come in for a cold beer and some really nice to eat. And you enter the lottery fits right in. It’s a great partnership. And John, thank you for honoring us today. And being here. Really,

Nestor Aparicio  08:01

you watch a lot. By the way.

John Martin  08:03

I didn’t pick him. It was there was no picking involved. It was it was obvious. There wasn’t picking EQ,


Pete Triantafilos  08:09

there was a lot of businesses that

Nestor Aparicio  08:11

are still here. 50 years later. I mean, that’s a tip of the cap to anyone. I mean, I feel like I’m 31 years I feel who you know, 50 is a whole different level. And for many of your retailers along life’s highway, things change in 50 years, things haven’t changed. Here’s kind of a neat thing.

Pete Triantafilos  08:28

I remember when quinoa started and the big Keno board a 10 by 10 board look like a bingo board. That was a huge deal. I mean, we had it up on the wall, we had this

Nestor Aparicio  08:38


big watching their number, it’s like watching horses

Pete Triantafilos  08:41

flashing red light would come on 1112 and people are just into it.

John Martin  08:46

And again that that’s that was the nature of the industry. I mean, we’ve launched quinoa in 1992. And when you went to Las Vegas back in 1992 That’s what Keno looked like. They had these big boards.

Nestor Aparicio  08:57

There was parlors,


John Martin  08:59

right? Yeah, and pop up and the numbers would pop up. And now you look at our keynote shows today. Shameless plug coming here, but we have a new $3 scratch off trigger called Frogger. You may be familiar.

Nestor Aparicio  09:10

I think I got I got one right here. Sure it is. Visual. There you go. I got one. Yes, I do.

John Martin  09:14

And we’ve taken that Frogger ticket and we’ve applied it now to a Kino skin. So that right now people in your bar who watching keynote may see have animated forever. Like if you were playing the game. When the frog crosses Aquino number comes up. Very cool.

Nestor Aparicio  09:30


Let me know when you get Pac Man as my game back in the day, we were looking at

Pete Triantafilos  09:35

behind the curtain on all this stuff. The Wizards.

John Martin  09:38

I mean, the technology has evolved to a point now where you know the things that we launched 30 years ago with with with keynote. It’s a very different environment today.

Nestor Aparicio  09:48

Well, I’m John Barnes out here. We’ve talked about this for a long time and it’s Maryland crabcake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery to junction with our friends at window nation. Rascon global our friends of wise markets. We’re in Dundalk. We’re kicking off we’re going to be on Friday. It fails, which turns out to be opening day now. We’re going to be Springsteen on Friday night. Well, you know, I wanted to go down and celebrate the opening of the new arena. And then next week we’re going to be with friends of yours at Pappas up in Bel Air than a brand new location up there. So we’re gonna have a Tim in that and then on the 27th I’m taking the neighborhood down of Federal Hill we’re going to be captain Larry’s have never had the crabcake there. They told me it’s great. It’s in the neighborhood with Chris pica. So we’re gonna be doing that but you know, getting around for all of this. This is a special week and it’s I’m wearing my orange right so it’s odd that you have an Oriole promotion. When I think of Orioles games, the orals are on right now, Grayson Rodriguez is in the second inning, given up a couple of runs what’s going on he’s hurt. That can’t happen cut them up but but the Orioles and opening day and what that means and the new arena. This is a real Renaissance period and time coming out of the plague. All the things that happen where we are that normalcy is happening, that you’re going downtown to see Springsteen on Friday, there’s energy around, there’s energy around


Pete Triantafilos  11:02

downtown is going to be happening at the Orioles. Now you got back to back doubleheader with Springsteen getting better than that.

Nestor Aparicio  11:07

Well, my wife’s gonna start playing the game because we want to hear her name called up we want to make her contest so tell everybody about the homerun riches and what we’re doing here because at some point in this game, somebody’s gonna have a chance to win some money. Yeah, absolutely.

John Martin  11:19

We’ve done this now for the last several years Pete probably very familiar with it’s called our homerun riches Second Chance contest. If a player enters their their ticket from purchasing a home on Rich’s fast play ticket, they can enter it into their my lottery rewards account. And once a month, we select for the games upcoming a contest into the game.

Nestor Aparicio  11:42


Everybody’s familiar with that everybody has seen the contestant game and you’re like, how did John and Annapolis get to do that? Well, this is the way it happens. Where it happens

John Martin  11:50

just being selected. They went $500 And they went $500 For every homerun hit by the Orioles in that game with the coffee out this year, that when the Orioles hit their 50th homerun. And they’re in a pretty good clip already here after the first week.

Nestor Aparicio  12:04

I’ve seen the gun show

John Martin  12:06

a few years ago on the 50th home run. That lucky winner will win $50,000 Wow for that.


Pete Triantafilos  12:13

Wow. How crazy is that? Jorge Mateo

Nestor Aparicio  12:15

is becoming my favorite player in the first week. i Every year I feel like I have to have a favorite player. And I don’t want to pick rutschman or gunner. You know, I’m gonna I’m just picking a guy and he had a bomb the other night and I’m thinking who’s going to be the one that hits the bomb the cashews in it. You remember Gary Radnicki hit that Grand Slam everybody in our remembers him hitting the Grand Slam and winning the million dollars back in the 80s. And I’m thinking this is the this is the biggest homerun riches you’ve ever done right?

John Martin  12:41

Oh, absolutely. I mean again, and we’re gonna do 250 $1,000 winners. So when the 50th homerun has hit, which might be end of May at this rate. But we’re also going to hold off another $50,000 winner for Homer Richards at the end of the season.

Nestor Aparicio  12:55


That’d be closer to the Springsteen data Camden Yards There you go to right, September we measure life through Springsteen. We do right, maybe we could get the boss to to pick our lucky. How cool would that we’re okay,

Pete Triantafilos  13:10

that’s where I know

John Martin  13:11

you’ve wanted to pull not that

Nestor Aparicio  13:13

much. I got some poll.


Pete Triantafilos  13:15

Got to talk to max Weinberg.

Nestor Aparicio  13:17

I’m wearing my you know, I’m wearing my Eagles Hotel California belt here today. So, you know, I’m ready for spring. I’m ready for all of this. And I really I was looking forward to today. But John, I had no idea. The artillery you were gonna bring in here. You know, Seth said we’re gonna have some people. And you’re like, it’s gonna be a little promotion. Yeah. I was gonna news. I mean, you had television stations here. So for the state, tell me what else you’re going to be doing like this because I know not every stops like this. But you are on a weekly basis literally going all over the state and honoring pizza in Brunswick pizza in Cumberland and Cambridge all over the state, right.

John Martin  13:54

For the next several weeks, we’re going to identify we’ve already identified about 3035 retailers who have been with us many of them for 50 years, but but significantly 10 years, call them our legacy retailers. And we’ll have presentations recognizing that not all set up like this. They may be

Nestor Aparicio  14:13


picking up a plaque is nice. Just the one you gave Pete will say that it’s wonderful. But maybe a

John Martin  14:18

convenience store or liquor store or gas station. So you know, they don’t have the wherewithal to do the same kind of thing. But imagine those places

Nestor Aparicio  14:25

being there. 50 years I talked to Seth about my little kitchen Nino’s was our little place in our neighborhood where they had lottery tickets, and people lined up, walked up went up in the 70s. I remembered vividly to think how many of those kinds of places that are like a family like Pete’s family that are still there, 50 years later. That’s a that’s just a special thing.

John Martin  14:49

When you look at it from our perspective, and these are, as I mentioned to Pete before when we were talking you know these are many of them, small businesses, family owned businesses, mom and pop shop first generation immigrants coming to this country, and the lottery piece of business is significant for them economically, absolutely. It’s a lifeblood for some of these organizations and, and they are so tied to the fabric of their communities, that that’s something we just can’t ignore. I mean, they’ve been great partners for 50 years, if we can come around, and they can dust me off and get me out of the office, and have me come out and had a plaque then that I need to do that. Well, I


Nestor Aparicio  15:28

for my friends at the Zunino family and I still know Frank, Sandy all them, they lost their dad recently, I will just think back in the 70s, when they said they were going to have numbers and you’re going to be able to go get a machine and it and and I remember how people would go up there. And I think you say, well, they make a nickel on a ticket or a penny on a tick or whatever was in the day for them. That’s nice. But what it did was somebody pick up a pack of gum, they buy a steak, they buy the six pack, they buy something, there was a sub shop. So like it was a lure to bring people in. And 50 years later, these businesses are still here, because they sold tickets and they they’re still selling tickets, right?

John Martin  16:06

Very much. So we know from experience that the the residual sale, they’re not just coming in to buy a lottery ticket that they’re coming in, if it’s on their morning, run, they’re getting their coffee, whatever they need to do to start their day. If it’s the the Friday night, and they’re getting their stuff at the liquor store is

Nestor Aparicio  16:22

the other way around. Let me tell you what we pull into the royal farms, my wife and I, she looks up she saw this morning, she said 470 met, right whatever it was that for whatever it is, she knows she knows a lot enough to make her buy. I go for the chicken or for the Western fries, and she looks up sees the sign. She’s like, in her pocket here she comes in. So she buys the ticket, because we’re there it’s the other way around sometimes Right?

John Martin  16:47


Very much. So we know it’s an impulse buy for people who are coming in there. And that’s why signage is important. That’s why we have a field network out there that communicates and make sure that the promotional materials in place. We advertise heavily in social media and on the airwaves. So yeah, I mean, we’re in a very competitive marketplace and that competitive, you wouldn’t think Well, geez, you’re the only lottery in the state? Well, yes, we are. But but that doesn’t mean that the things are given to us. We have to compete for that share of mind for that impulse purchase to somebody make a purchase to buy a bag of chips or candy bar, do they buy that $2 Powerball ticket because the jackpot might be high. I

Nestor Aparicio  17:25

know we’re in April. But we want to say responsibly as well. We’re always talking about this and certainly baseball season. I do think it’s fascinating how mobile and sports. If you’re a sports fan, how the wagering part comes to you now, right, you don’t have to go to it. If you’re watching the game. It very quickly, John of 18 months ago, you’re trying to get this online. It’s there all day, every day for you. Right.

John Martin  17:49

And you’re right, the responsible gaming part is paramount in that. We we accept that responsibility. We educate players and retailers every time as to the player protections that are available. We’re fortunate enough to have great partners on that side. So should someone be in a situation where they do need some help? And help is available at no cost to them in the state of Maryland? But yeah, it’s it’s a responsible position to be in and we hope that people conversely play responsibly

Nestor Aparicio  18:17

out there having fun with it as well. And I don’t know if there were their odds on moving opening day to the same day as Bruce Springsteen, how’s this gonna go? Free house cost is going to run on Friday night with you and your brother and a whole family. Opening Day Springsteen saying, We’ve never had a day like this. No,


Pete Triantafilos  18:31

no, it’s going to be challenging, but I got it. I got a good team in place. And it’s been set from from the beginning of early last week. So are you born right? Absolutely. should ever stop.

Nestor Aparicio  18:42

John, you’re going to show no, you’re not going to show.

John Martin  18:44

I’m not I’ll listen to my ticket. I’ll listen most pristine cassettes and my

Nestor Aparicio  18:51


well, they call this the crab cake tour for reason I had the crab cake as part of the shrimp salad sandwich. He bought me a sandwich as big as my head. It was this big sandwich Chesapeake. It’s a winner. And I said to Sarah, like can you say they got a big mouth? So when you’re saying made the radio guy, you know, come on down to Costas and enjoyed 50th anniversary of the Maryland lottery and the crabcake tour. I’ll be giving these away families at Pappas at capillaries all the places we go. But we’re Costas right now. We got a great show ahead. I got local people coming by the new UMBC head coach for soccer. And you know, I thought it was cool when Kurinji was involved because he’s a by zanis Highlandtown guy, great guy. And we get rid of Pete after all these years at UMBC the hiring guy, so Anthony Adams is gonna be here a little later on. Real Dundalk guide had connections to another Dundalk business over on Merritt Boulevard and at the corner wise and Halliburton will talk a little poplar him with him and his family as well as Gigi Causey who is my childhood friend, my Zumba friend, my theater friend and the Father, father in law who plays a lottery in the other room here so I’m keeping a low Call the family of John Martin from the Maryland lottery. Let’s get back to doing what do you do all day when you’re not doing radio with me?

John Martin  20:06

I wait for Dale to tell me where I need to go next. All right,

Nestor Aparicio  20:09

well, it’s not you started at the top. It cost us now. You know, gonna make our way around the state. We’ll be doing that. Thanks for all you do for us. Thank you appreciate John Martin, Director of all things matter of the lottery and gaming, reminding you to do the responsible thing.

Pete Triantafilos  20:22

Thanks, Nestor.


Nestor Aparicio  20:24

Hey, pleasure, anything you want to say the crabs in season one.

Pete Triantafilos  20:27

Oh yeah, we’re rolling this is crab season. We have lint coming up we got good Friday come up so plenty of seafood options and steamed crabs just call for availability. They’re available every day.

Nestor Aparicio  20:36

I had to Chesapeake sandwich at the bar had to steamed get to cream spinach getting creamed spinach to go. I grabbed some spinach and I tell him this give him some cream Omega take good care of. I came love it 30 places a little empty then people were in there eating some lunch, get some crab cakes. And then the first batch of crabs came in here about noon and I smelled it and I’m like

Pete Triantafilos  20:59


summer noon is good for crab

Nestor Aparicio  21:00

Creek day opening day week open a new arena doing things and celebrating with Maryland lottery I’ll be giving these instant scratch offs way I like them because they’re old school like me are friends of window nation. By the way when donation is given me April is window Awareness Month did not hurt yourself on your window. So I have verbiage for that for window nation 866 90 nation and our friends are asking global if this is still Glenda is gonna get upset if I don’t get this 30 soon but it’ll get some proper Jay Oh spice you can use that today. And you know I have my little my little bottle opener as well. We’re Costas Marilyn crabcake tour. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking. Baltimore positive and a Spring Awakening. Stay with us.

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