Man Stuffed $4 Million Lottery Ticket In Cookie Jar, Forgot About It For 3 Months

(WGN)

(WGN)

I have a secret fear that I will win a huge lottery prize, but never know it because I had stuffed the ticket in a coat pocket or a drawer. I deal with this fear by not buying lottery tickets. But this actually happened to a man who lives near Chicago. He says that he had stuffed old lottery tickets in a cookie jar, then took them to the store to see whether they had maybe won a couple of bucks for hitting a few numbers. They had: one ticket won $3. Yay, he could almost buy a gallon of gas! Then another ticket in the pile won more than $4 million.

The ticket had been sitting in a jar since February: apparently the Illinois Lottery had not launched a statewide search and media blitz looking for the lucky winner. The winner’s wife told him to check through the tickets that had accumulated in a glass jar, or she was going to throw them away. When he scanned the $4 million winner, it instructed him to turn it in at a lottery office, meaning it was worth $600 or more. Old winning lottery numbers are archived online, so he found the archived numbers for February 2nd. They all matched.

In a press conference at the convenience store, the lottery presented him with a large novelty check that would be difficult to misplace.

It just so happens that as the family was cleaning out their lottery ticket stash, they were facing foreclosure on their home. In fact, they sat through a foreclosure hearing only ten days after they had won the lottery without knowing it. “I just thought, this is how God works,” he told reporters. That is quite impressive: and hey, at least this guy didn’t win for a fourth time.

Facing foreclosure, man finds winning Lotto ticket in cookie jar [Chicago Tribune]