Lottery tickets go into the trash, only after one has checked and rechecked them to ensure that what is being thrown away is just a wasted chance at the big bucks. For a lottery-playing Pennsylvania man, his dreams at striking it rich came and went with the weekly garbage pickup.
The unnamed customer would play the same numbers every day, reports the Daily Mail. The inauspicious lottery player bought dozens of tickets, but rather than maximizing his chances with different numbers, he would play the same numbers on the tickets.
The Pennsylvania Lottery confirmed that 25 tickets were sold with the winning combination – 4-3-4-1-8 – but what they didn’t know at the time was that every ticket belonged to one winner, or in this case, one giant loser. Each ticket had a $50,000 windfall, meaning the man tossed out $1.25 million.
The tickets were purchased on March 13 at the Zhou Grocery on South Queen Street in York. An employee there – Wendy Hinton – said she didn’t know the significance of the numbers, but spoke of the man’s reaction. The winning tickets all expired, so even if he were able to produce the tickets, the money has since been forfeited back to the state lottery pool.
“He was mad,” Hinton said. “Wouldn’t you be? He was so mad he played $400 that day.”
Lottery spokeswoman Lauren Bottaro had a similar reaction, albeit much shorter: “Oh, no. Wow.”
Hinton said the man lived a few blocks away from the store, and would always play the Pennsylvania lottery. Sometimes he would buy 20 to 25 tickets a day, easily pushing his lottery expenditures to over a $100 bucks.
It had been a mystery what happened to the tickets. The Pennsylvania Lottery put out a news release back in February, warning whoever held the tickets that they had until March 13 to cash them in, figuring that the person may have tucked them away in a kitchen junk drawer or had them in a wallet or pocketbook and hadn’t bothered to check them.