Shop owners spot winning one million dollar lottery scratchcard thrown away by customer in Massachusetts

A selection of US dollar notes (PA Archive)
17:16pm, Mon 24 May 2021
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

A woman in the US who accidentally threw out a one million dollar (£706,000) lottery ticket eventually collected her winnings thanks to the kindness and honesty of the owners of the shop where she bought it.

Lea Rose Fiega bought the 30 dollar (£21) Diamond Millions scratchcard in March at the Lucky Stop convenience store in Southwick, Massachusetts, 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.

One evening, I was going through the tickets from the trash and found out that she didn’t scratch the number

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 one million dollars 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 was in total disbelief. I cried, I hugged them

“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.”

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 10,000 dollar (£7,000) 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.

Sign up to our newsletter