A U.S. soldier and his girlfriend found a winning lottery ticket on the ground at a convenience store Monday and turned it in to police, who were able to find its owner — a $2,500 winner with no idea her lucky ticket was missing.
Sgt. Edward Boniberger and Marnie Hall found the ticket in a plastic case at a store, Suffolk County Police said. They tried to find the woman who had signed it, but when they could not, they took it to a police station.
Detectives then located Mary Ann Doerrbecker, who had not realized she had dropped the ticket, according to Detective Sgt. Thomas Groneman.
"She was shocked," Groneman said. Doerrbecker met the couple at the Third Precinct and offered them a reward, which they declined.
"He said, 'Absolutely not,"' Groneman said.
Boniberger said he told Doerrbecker she should donate something to charity instead.
"There's people out there who need it a lot more than I do," he said.
He said he would have wanted someone else to do the same if it had been him who lost the ticket.
Boniberger, of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, was stationed in Baghdad and returned to the United States in September 2005.