For a few moments, convenience store clerk Andy Patel was the only person in the world who knew he had a $1 million lottery ticket in his hand. Then he started trying to find the ticket's owner. Patel says it happened in March, when a customer came into the Pit Stop in Salinas to check three Kansas Lottery tickets, the Salina Journal reports. He says he ran two of the tickets but didn't realize there was a third one on the counter until the man had already left. After he discovered it was a $1 million winner, he contacted Kal Patel—no relation—whose parents own the store, and determined that the man who brought the ticket in was a longtime customer. Kal Patel says he drove around until he found the customer.
"They didn’t know they had the winning ticket, so they never would have known if I hadn’t found them. But then you’d have to live through the guilt of that all your life," Kal Patel tells the Journal, adding: "Good deeds come back to help you, and bad deeds come back to haunt you." He says that when he found the customer and his brother and showed them the ticket, "they started shaking" and couldn't believe it until they went to the store again to check the numbers. Kal Patel says some friends have given him a hard time for not just keeping the $1 million, but he has no regrets and would do the same thing again. WIBW reports that for their honesty, Andy and Kal Patel were given a Helping Hand reward of $1,200. (This Canadian had an extremely happy birthday when he won a lottery jackpot—on a special day.)