On Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at approximately 6:50 p.m., we went to Rips to play our lottery numbers. There was no one in line, we got in line and I was first. I handed the lady my list of lottery numbers (the list contained 10 numbers) and she said we only allow five numbers to be played. Realizing that we were running late for a 7:00 p.m. appointment, I said to my husband, "s*t, why did we come here?". The lady said you could go across the street and play the other five numbers. I said to my husband, I will just get back in line.
As soon as I was done playing my first five numbers, my husband played his one number and a lotto number. Now, there is one more customer who wants to play numbers, so I get in line behind the customer that just arrived. There is no one else interested in playing numbers. It's now my turn again and she refused to wait on me. I asked her why and she said you need to write down the numbers on a lottery card. My husband asked if he could play the five numbers and she ignored him. I immediately started to fill out the card and she called for her (gentlemen) co-worker who walked over and asked us to leave the store.
Needless to say, I missed the number that came out that night (002) and I am convinced that were were only asked to leave the store because we were Black.
I contacted both the Owner of Rips, Marchelle Burgeos and the Regional Manager of the Maryland Lottery Board, Donna Zoutowski. Both listened at my complaint but neither has bothered to call me back to let me know if they spoke to the Rips employees.
The Rips employees were Mary (she handles the Lottery Machine) and the person she called who insisted that we leave was Bill Coleman.
Mary is very rude and extremely prejudice. For many years, we shopped at least twice a week at Rips, however, after this situation, we will never again shop at Rips.
Upper Marlboro, Maryland