Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Good Samaritan Returns Lottery Ticket

Store Clerk Kept Winning Mega Millions Ticket Safe for Man Who Lost It

The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are roughly 1 in 302,575,350. But what are the odds of winning the jackpot, losing the winning ticket, and having the ticket safely returned to you? Quite good, actually, if you are lottery winner Mike Weirsky.

Last week, Wiersky of New Jersey forgot a pair of $2 lottery tickets at a Quick Chek counter in Phillipsburg, near Pennsylvania. “I put the tickets down, put my money away, and did something with my phone, and just walked away,” Weirsky said at a press conference on March 3. “I figured when I woke up Friday morning, like, well, just another thing I lost.”

However, all was not lost. When Wiersky, 54, returned to the store the next day, he learned that the store clerk, Phil Campolo, had found the lottery tickets and was keeping them safe. When Weirsky checked the tickets, he learned that he was $273 million richer.

Hitting the jackpot and consequent luck of having the lost tickets returned to him comes just in time for Weirsky, after spending the past 15 years unemployed.

According to lottery officials, if the person who found the tickets took them home and signed them, they would have been able to claim the lottery winnings for themselves. It is always recommended that ticket holders sign the back of the ticket immediately and then make a copy of both sides before placing it in a safe place. Winners have one year from the drawing date to claim prizes.

“I couldn’t believe I was the winner of more than $2 after playing after all these years,” Wiersky said. His plan is to first buy a new pickup truck, and then he wants to buy his mother a car and have her home remodeled.

But what about the store clerk? Weirsky says he plans on giving Campolo something for keeping the ticket safe and returning it, but he wants to keep it secret.

“My parents raised me to be a good person, honest, sincere,“ Campolo told Kathy Park, NBC News. “I try to take that with me everywhere I go.”

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