A New Jersey man raked in $24.1 million after finding a lottery ticket in one of his old shirts, reports KTLA.
Jimmie Smith, 68, found the shirt in the back of his closet, the news outlet writes. The shirt’s pockets were filled with lottery tickets that had not been checked.
Over a year ago, he purchased a New York Lotto ticket with the numbers “05 – 12 – 13 – 22 – 25 – 35.” Unbeknownst to Smith, he had the ticket with the winning numbers. After months went by, the expiration date neared, and nobody claimed the $24.1 million prize, the New York Lottery called on individuals who purchased tickets to see if they still had them.
“We urge New York Lottery players: Check your pockets. Check your glove box. Look under the couch cushions. If you have this winning ticket, we look forward to meeting you,” said Director of the Commission’s Division of the Lottery, Gweneth Dean, according to the source.
Seeing a news story about the missing ticket prompted Smith to see if he had it. After coming across a ticket with the matching numbers, Smith—who has 12 grandchildren—was in complete disbelief. “I had to stick my head out the window and breathe in some fresh air,” he told KTLA. “I was in serious doubt. I really had to convince myself this was real.”
Luckily Smith found the ticket just two days shy of the deadline. “We are thrilled that this lucky winner was able to locate this life-changing ticket,” said a New York Lottery rep in a statement.
According to the news outlet, Smith opted to receive his prize in installments over the next 26 years. He says he will have a discussion with his family to decide how the money will be spent.
If you were in Smith’s position, how would you spend the money? Sound off in the comments.