Woman 'in a hurry' throws away winning $1.2m lottery scratchie

·2-min read

A Massachusetts woman who accidentally tossed out a US$1 million (A$1.2 million) lottery ticket eventually collected her winnings thanks to the kindness and honesty of the owners of the store where she bought it.

Lea Rose Fiega bought the US$30 (A$38) Diamond Millions scratch-off ticket in March at the Lucky Stop convenience store in Southwick near where she works.

“I was in a hurry, on lunch break, and just scratched it real quick, and looked at it, and it didn’t look like a winner, so I handed it over to them to throw away,” she said on Monday (local time).

Lea Rose Fiega with her US$1 million check.
Lea Rose Fiega threw away a scratch lottery ticket with realising she had won $1.2 million. Source: KUTV

The ticket lay behind the counter for 10 days.

“One evening, I was going through the tickets from the trash and found out that she didn’t scratch the number,” Abhi Shah, the son of the store’s owners, told WWLP-TV. 

“I scratched the number and it was $1 million underneath the ticket.”

Ms Fiega is a regular customer, so the family knew immediately who had discarded it.

Mr Shah went to see Ms Fiega at work.

"He came to my office and said 'my mom and dad would like to see you'," she said. 

"I said, 'I'm working', and he said, 'No you have to come over.' So I went over there and that's when they told me. I was in total disbelief. I cried, I hugged them."

Scratchies on display in a shop.
Ms Fiega is a regular customer, so the family knew immediately who had discarded it. Source: KUTV

Lottery win follows Covid battle

Ms Fiega said overcoming a near fatal bout with Covid-19 in January was like “winning the lottery”, so she feels doubly fortunate.

“I mean, who does that? They’re great people. I am beyond blessed,” she said.

The store gets a US$10,000 (A$13,000) bonus from the state lottery commission for selling the winning ticket.

Ms Fiega said she gave the family an additional reward. She is saving the rest for retirement.

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