Unchecked Ticket Wins Nearly $400,000

There are many of us who immediately check the lottery results. Sometimes that brings happiness, other times it’s just confirmation that nothing has been won. Other players take longer to check the results. That’s just what Michael ‘Micky’ Pietz from Adel in Iowa does. Little did he know, he’d won $25,000 a year for life in the draw held on October 13.

That’s because his winning ticket just sat in his wallet and for two weeks, he had no idea of his big win. The 37-year-old finally got around to buying some more lottery tickets. That led to him looking in his wallet to finally get his tickets checked.

He wasn’t thinking if he’d won a big prize, just if any had some funds for him to use for his next purchases. A big shock was on the way. “I ended up with a little bit more than that,” he joked. It took a while to realise how much he’d won. He didn’t notice the large amount the terminal was telling him he’d won.

“I was talking with the clerk and not overly paying attention,” he recalled when speaking to the Iowa Lottery. “I scanned it and he’s like, ‘Wait a minute, what did that say?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, probably something like $10.’ And I scanned it again and I thought, ‘That can’t be right.’ And I scanned it again and then I had him scan it.”

All of that still didn’t convince the gas and utilities worker that he’d won $25,000 a year for life. He returned home and asked his wife to check his ticket and finally realised how lucky he’d been. “I still didn’t quite think it was real,” he said.

His ticket had matched the 13, 16, 18, 23, 33 but missed the Lucky Ball 17. He had won the second prize though and that has odds of 1 in 1,813,028. If he had been lucky enough to also match the Lucky Ball, he’d have won the top prize of $1,000 a day for life.

The lucky winner has opted to take a lump sum payment. That means he will receive $390,000. Talking about his windfall, he said it was far more than he ever expected: “Maybe a couple hundred here, or something like that. Nothing more than a thousand. I definitely did not expect this.”

He might check any future lottery purchases sooner. His advice to other players is “Pay attention to them.” That’s good advice as there are always stories of players who lose out on big wins after not claiming their prizes in time and seeing them expire.