You have to get pretty lucky to win any amount of money on a lottery ticket. To win a figure north of a million dollars? Well, you need to get really, really lucky to do that. But how much luck do you need to win $1.2 million on a lottery ticket, then lose it in a parking lot, and then somehow find it again hours later? Only one man knows for sure, and his name is Nick Slatten. Slatten is a Tennessee native that scored big on a lottery drawing on March 11th, but then almost lost it all on the very same day.
As AP reports, Slatten discovered that he matched all the numbers on his ticket with a drawing for $1,178,746 through the Tennessee Education Lottery. He was so happy that he decided to go for a little trip and visit his wife at work, telling her the great news and then getting on with the rest of his day. That’s when tragedy (almost) struck.
Slatten then reportedly ran some errands that included a trip to a local automotive store so his brother could pick up a car part. Roughly an hour later he discovered that the winning ticket was missing and he had no idea where it had gone. Since he had taken the ticket with him all over town, it could have been anywhere, and he began working backward through his trip in the hopes of finding it.
Slatten, who said he was “stunned,” and “couldn’t believe” that he had won the money in the first place, was on the verge of losing it all before he could even claim it. The ticket was unsigned, which meant that anyone that found it could potentially claim the massive prize for themselves. A lost $1.2 million ticket just floating around a city sounds like a dream come true for some lucky person that might stumble across it, but for Slatten, it was a nightmare in the making.
Even worse, it was a windy day, and the thin paper ticket could have traveled blocks from where it was originally lost, further reducing the chances that it would ever find its true owner again. Nevertheless, Slatten diligently retraced his trip and when he rode into the parking lot of the auto parts store he managed to spot the ticket still laying where it had been dropped.
Slatten has modest plans for the money, including upgrading his family’s vehicles and purchasing a home before investing what remains. I’d say that’s probably a good idea since he already managed to get incredibly lucky not once, but twice in the same day.
It was a happy ending for Slatten, but let this be a reminder that not every piece of loose paper flying down the street is trash. Pick them up when you see them. If it’s trash, throw it away where it belongs, but if it’s a million-dollar lottery ticket… I get half because I just gave you this advice. Deal? Deal.