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Woman Throws Away $1M Lottery Ticket, Gets It Back

Store's owners reunited Massachusetts woman with discarded winning ticket
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 24, 2021 12:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Massachusetts woman who accidentally tossed out a $1 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 $30 Diamond Millions scratch-off ticket in March at the Lucky Stop convenience store in Southwick near where she works, the AP reports. "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 says. 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 tells WWLP-TV. "I scratched the number and it was $1 million underneath the ticket."

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Fiega is a regular customer, so the family knew immediately who had discarded it. Shah went to see Fiega at work. She says he insisted she had to come to the store because his parents wanted to see her. "I went over there and that's when they told me," she says. "I was in total disbelief. I cried, I hugged them." Fiega says 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 says. The store gets a $10,000 bonus from the state lottery commission for selling the winning ticket. Fiega says she gave the family an additional reward. She's saving the rest for retirement.

(Read more uplifting news stories.)

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