Millions of people play the lottery every day. If the jackpot hit stratospheric levels in one of the multi-state lotteries, like Powerball or Megamillions, that number can rise as high as the prize amount. When most people dream of winning the lottery, it’s the big-money games they think about. In most cases, you can’t buy a yacht docked on the Mediterranean on a scratch-off!
Despite popular belief, that’s not true. More winners stem from smaller state lottos and scratch-offs than those highly-publicized mega jackpots. In fact, a couple in Michigan recently won $2 million off of a Multiplier Spectacular ticket that the wife nearly threw in the trash after the husband gave it to her for her birthday. After taxes, the anonymous couple took home $1.3 million in one lump sum. Not too shabby!
Stories of these winnings happen all of the time. A man in Missouri was walking around with a $50,000 winner in his pocket for 10 days after a clerk at a convenient store told him he couldn’t cash it. The man assumed it was a false winner and forgot about it. It wasn’t until he found out that large winnings had to be claimed through the Missouri Lottery Commission that he figured he’d give it another shot. Once he turned the ticket into them, it was winner, winner chicken dinner time!
Usually, it’s the scratch-offs that get forgotten about or misplaced the most. There have even been cases of someone claiming a prize months later after initially misreading the ticket. Can you imagine going through your wallet and finding an old ticket that’s a winner? Even if it’s $20 you feel like you should be contacting that yacht dealer.
Bryan Cureington has a story just like the ones above. He purchased a Make My Year scratch-off ticket for $1 from a local mini-mart in Louisiana. The ticket got thrown out by a relative that assumed it was already played and didn’t yield any winning. Something told Bryan to look through the trash for it anyway. He did and it’s a good thing, too – the ticket was worth $200,000.
The Lousiana Lottery said Bryan’s ticket was actually one of four grand prize winners. After state and federal taxes, he’ll actually net around $140,000. Now, doesn’t that make you want to look through all of your old lottery tickets, just in case?
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