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nasiruImagine having a lottery ticket worth $50 million in your hands then having it disappear without a trace.  Well Hakeem Nosiru (pictured left) and his wife, Abiola (pictured), lived the nightmare of having a winning ticket worth more than they could possibly ever spend in their lifetimes then losing it before they could cash it in to lottery officials.  The bleak story does have a phenomenally happy ending, though, as the ticket was eventually found months later by a church member, reports the Toronto Sun.

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Hakeem checked the winning ticket in January at a convenience store, and after discovering he had a winning ticket, his joy could not be restrained. The Father of four and grandfather of five was ecstatic about his win and actually ran through the aisles of the store shouting and crying over his win.

Just one day after Hakeem and Abiola were flying high over their Lotto Max win, however, they quickly spiraled back down, as they could not put their hands on the winning ticket.

According to Hakeem, he gave his wife of 29 years the winning ticket to secure in her purse, but when they went to church the day after their huge win, she somehow lost it. Abiola was beyond any form of consolation, the woman tells the Toronto Sun, “I couldn’t sleep for days, I couldn’t eat. I was devastated.”

Ironically, Nosiru had so much angst about possibly losing the ticket that he placed it in an envelope and duct taped it to his stomach.  After giving what he thought was a fool-proof move some further thought, he decided his wife’s purse would be a safer and more sensible route to go.

He was so wrong!

But when Nasiru found out Abiola had misplaced the ticket, he did not explode; instead, he says he remained calm and placed the situation in God’s hands, telling the Toronto Sun, “God gave us the money,” he said. “We lose the ticket and eventually we found it. Thank God for that.”

The Nigerian couple went to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and filled out all of the necessary paperwork just in case their ticket turned up and just kept hope alive.  The OLG could not give the couple the monies unless they could produce a ticket.  The pair also contacted the police as well to report the missing ticket.

Fate certainly has a sense of humor because on April Fool’s Day, a congregation member contacted the couple to let them know she had found their lottery ticket.  Abiola told the Toronto Sun, “When I found it, I was so happy.”

When the ticket was found, the police established that there was no foul play involved in the case and closed it.

The Nosirus learned a valuable lesson after their ordeal: always sign a lottery ticket after purchasing it.  OLG spokesperson Tony Bitonti also adds, “Keep it in a safe place and check it often as well,” he told the Toronto Sun.

Meanwhile, the Nosirus have not made any big money plans as of yet and are so glad their nightmare is finally over.  According to Abiola, losing the money would have been disheartening but they don’t place an emphasis on money but rather on love of family.  “We believed that before the money there was a life,” Abiola told the Toronto Sun. “After the money there would be a life.”

For now, the Nasirus want to just kick back and revel in the fortune that they’ve been blessed with and the love they have from their children and grandchildren.

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