But, thanks to the honesty of one shopkeeper, she was reunited with her ticket and able to collect her money.
It was back in March when Lea Rose Fiega bought the $30 Diamond Millions scratch-off ticket at the Lucky Stop convenience store in Southwick, where she worked nearby.
“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 said on Monday.
Luckily for Fiega, the ticket remained in the trash for 10 days, and hadn’t been fully scratched off.
That’s when the shopkeeper eventually discovered the winning ticket.
“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, told TV station WWLP. “I scratched the number, and it was $1 million underneath the ticket.”
Overwhelmed by their discovery, owner Maunish Shah told the station that his family could not sleep.
“He called my grandparents in India, they said ‘give it back we don’t want that money’,” Maunish Shah said.
It seems Fiega’s customer loyalty paid off (literally) as Abhi Shah immediately knew who the ticket belonged to, and paid a visit to her work to give her the life-changing news.
“I was in total disbelief. I cried. I hugged them,” Fiega said.
So what is it like to give away $1 million?
“I mean I had $1 million in my hand... and I wanted to do something good,” Abhi Shah said.
The store also gets a $10,000 bonus from the state lottery commission for selling the winning ticket, the Associated Press reported.