So how does someone throw away a winning lottery ticket? The guys claim that when they checked the winning numbers of the Powerball on the lottery’s website, it hadn’t been updated with the new numbers, unbeknownst to them, reports NorthJersey.com. So they tossed the ticket in the trash.
But they realized later that the ticket had every correct number except the Powerball, a prize worth $1 million.
“I was losing my mind. We were both losing our minds,” one of the men said, after realizing the ticket was in the trash, which the garbage company said had been picked up and brought to a landfill in Canada.
The men said they could prove the win without the missing ticket: One of the men bought three tickets at a Mahwah 7-11, where it was reported that a $1 million ticket had been sold.
He kept the first and third tickets, and gave the second to his friend. That one was the winner, and that friend was the one who tossed it when he thought it was a dud. But the other man kept the first and third tickets, which meant the missing ticket’s serial number would line up right there in the middle with his purchase.
At first they were told by the Lottery Commission last year that they could just submit a claim form along with the remaining tickets.
“They even told me, ‘You don’t need a lawyer, don’t get one. We know you’re in the right,’ ” one of the men explained.
Fast forward to a year since the drawing, and nothing has happened> So the twosome filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Trenton this week to demand that the lottery pony up their cash, as it’s at fault for failing to update its website in a timely manner.
The Lottery Commission hasn’t commented on the situation, as it’s pending litigation.
Lesson learned: Don’t throw out your lottery tickets until you’ve checked, and double-checked, and then probably triple and quadruple checked those numbers.
Two men say they threw away a $1M lottery ticket, sue NJ to collect [NorthJersey.com]