She Realized She Was a $110K Lottery Winner. Then, 'Panic'

Va.'s Mary Elliott had already thrown her ticket in the trash; luckily, she found it
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2022 7:44 AM CDT
She Realized She Was a $110K Lottery Winner. Then, 'Panic'
Mary Elliott.   (Virginia Lottery)

It's not clear why Mary Elliott threw away a lottery ticket before finding out whether she'd won, but what is clear is that she'll probably never prematurely toss such a ticket again. The woman from Buckingham County, Va., won $110,000 in her state's Cash 5 With EZ Match game, though she had a heart-stopping journey to claim it, reports CNN. Per a Virginia Lottery release, Elliott realized she won the top prize in the Feb. 24 drawing with a ticket she'd bought at a grocery store in Dillwyn, selecting numbers based on important birthdays, but there was one problem: She'd already thrown her ticket in the garbage.

"When I saw I'd won, I couldn't stop shaking to save my life!" Elliott says. After a "brief moment of panic," Elliott started her retrieval mission, rummaging through her trash until she found the coffee-stained ticket (pic here of the soiled paper). And now came the next problem—the ticket was so damaged that the bar code couldn't be scanned to verify Elliott had won. Luckily, staffers at the Virginia Lottery's Henrico office were able to confirm Elliott's win was the real deal. Her odds of taking home the big prize, per lottery officials: 1 in 749,398. (More uplifting news stories.)

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