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Va. grocery store worker's lottery ticket mistake turns into $7 million grand prize

Topic closed. 46 replies. Last post 10 months ago by Murgatroyd.

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sully16's avatar - sharan
Ringleader
Michigan
United States
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October 28, 2009
40299 Posts
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Posted: February 2, 2016, 8:39 am - IP Logged

Nice mistake, congrats to Michael.

Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

For a lead role in a cage?

 

                                            From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

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    The land of Canals
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    January 7, 2013
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    Posted: February 2, 2016, 9:25 am - IP Logged

    WTG Mr. Donnelly!  I always buy mistakes unless I don't have the cash at the time to do so. BananaParty

    “A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” 
     Steve Martin

    Cool

      Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

      United States
      Member #162631
      January 7, 2015
      502 Posts
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      Posted: February 2, 2016, 10:17 am - IP Logged

      Congrats to the grocery store worker and i bet that customer that turned down the ticket is full of regret .He  or she should have accepted the ticket .It was a blessing in disguise .

      .

      It certainly is the doggonest thing that I've ever heard of happening.

      • Don't chase the numbers you play.
      • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
      • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
        TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
        Brooklyn, NY
        United States
        Member #169723
        October 29, 2015
        877 Posts
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        Posted: February 2, 2016, 10:40 am - IP Logged

        Since the ticket was already printed it makes no difference whos hand it's in. Had the customer bought the "mistake" only the title of the story would be different. Customer wins 7 million due to lottery agents mistake.

        Guru101 I have to agree with Tony Numbers on this won (pun intended).

        As Tony stated in his comment, the ticket had already been printed and it was just a matter of who purchased it...the customer or Michael!

        The "Butterfly Effect" occurs when something happens to change an event in time. Somewhat like in the movie "Back To The Future" where Biff as an old man brings the sports book to himself as a young man and changes his "destiny"

        Nothing like that happened in this case. The numbers on the ticket were generated because the wrong button was pressed at the exact time it was. Had it been one second before or after, the numbers would have been different.

        Consider all the factors and what ifs... What if that person didn't come in and ask for a powerball ticket? What if it was Michael's day off and he wasn't to be there that day? What if someone else waited on that person? What if he didn't press the wrong button? He was in the right place at the right time....and it was HIS time! Everything happens for a reason!

        The Meatman

        “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

        Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

          Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
          Indiana
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          Posted: February 2, 2016, 6:20 pm - IP Logged

          Since the ticket was already printed it makes no difference whos hand it's in. Had the customer bought the "mistake" only the title of the story would be different. Customer wins 7 million due to lottery agents mistake.

          The butterfly effect isn't affecting the ticket that's printed, it's affecting the actual drawing. The butterfly effect can be difficult to explain. In the case of a ball drawing, the balls would have to be arranged in exactly the same fashion, down to the nanometer(probably smaller). This not only includes their initial location after being placed in the machine, but rotation as well, because on the "low level" those balls are not perfectly round. All this is enough to cause a completely different set of numbers being drawn. So as long as there is enough time for the difference to propagate(as Murgatroyd pointed out), the winning numbers will be different, and considering most sales cut off times are at least an hour before the drawing, I believe in most cases this is what happens.

          Of course your next question would probably be "Well what difference is there"? Something to take into account is that our decisions affect everything else and everything else affects us. One way to look at it is by considering something non-lottery related. Say you get off work and start your way home. Now, you have the route that you usually take, but there could be many other routes you could take. Maybe if you take one route, you come across a yard sale where you stop to take a look at stuff, maybe buy something that you end up using on a regular basis or something you have many conversations with people about in the future. Maybe on one route you get killed by a drunk driver. Maybe on one route you end up running into the love of your life who you end up getting married to.

          To understand what I'm saying you have to look at it from a "chain of events" perspective, and you have to follow those chain of events. All those chains of events propagate all the way to the time of a lottery drawing, and in most cases will result in the initial placement of the balls being different enough that a different set of jackpot winning numbers will be drawn.

          What people don't realize is that even the most simple day-to-day decisions that we make everyday, the ones that we take for granted, have an effect on everything else.

          Gonna win.Big Smile

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            New Member
            Iowa
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            February 2, 2016
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            Posted: February 2, 2016, 8:05 pm - IP Logged

            Hey all.... I'm new to posting here but always enjoy reading comments on here. I was wondering though...

            In the case of Cash4 life or Lucky 4 Life that just opened up in Iowa.... wouldn't it make more sense to take the annuity? 7 mil up front sounds good but I'm only 40. 365k per year til I die sounds like a whole lot more.

            What arguments would you give to support taking the cash option in this game?

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              USA
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              January 16, 2016
              98 Posts
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              Posted: February 2, 2016, 8:40 pm - IP Logged

              A Virginia grocery store employee's mistake during Powerball jackpot fever earlier this month ended up turning into a $7 million windfall.

              Michael Donnelly was ringing up Powerball tickets for customers at the Harris Teeter store in Falls Church. But for one transaction, he accidentally punched the wrong button on the lottery terminal and printed a Cash4Life ticket that the customer didn't want.

              Donnelly ended up buying the "mistake" ticket for the January 7th drawing and it turned out to be winning ticket for the game's top prize. According to Virginia Lottery, the odds of winning the top prize for Cash4Life are 1 in 21.8 million.

              The Woodbridge man chose the one-time lump sum of $7 million over the option of receiving $1,000 per day for the rest of his life.

              After he called his wife about the big jackpot win, she told her husband, "If that's true, you have to come home because I'm about to have a heart attack!"

              Harris-Teeter received a $50,000 bonus from Virginia Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

              "It still hasn't hit me yet," Donnelly said.

              News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

              News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

              This right here is why I told my Son, if the clerk makes a mistake always buy the ticket anyway, you never know it could be the winner!!!

                Avatar
                USA
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                January 16, 2016
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                Posted: February 2, 2016, 8:54 pm - IP Logged

                Hey all.... I'm new to posting here but always enjoy reading comments on here. I was wondering though...

                In the case of Cash4 life or Lucky 4 Life that just opened up in Iowa.... wouldn't it make more sense to take the annuity? 7 mil up front sounds good but I'm only 40. 365k per year til I die sounds like a whole lot more.

                What arguments would you give to support taking the cash option in this game?

                If you take the Lump sum and Invest it right you'll have more then you began with and you can put it in trust and leave it for your Family an loved ones in case you don't live long enough (Heaven forbid) to receive all your payments or what if you need extra money for something, then you would have to wait until your next check comes in because those places that will give it too in one lump sum later cost a fortune!!!

                  LottoLucy's avatar - hereslucy header.jpg

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                  August 14, 2012
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                  Posted: February 2, 2016, 11:16 pm - IP Logged

                  Hey all.... I'm new to posting here but always enjoy reading comments on here. I was wondering though...

                  In the case of Cash4 life or Lucky 4 Life that just opened up in Iowa.... wouldn't it make more sense to take the annuity? 7 mil up front sounds good but I'm only 40. 365k per year til I die sounds like a whole lot more.

                  What arguments would you give to support taking the cash option in this game?

                  The biggest argument for taking the cash is trust.  Do you trust that the prize will actually be paid out over your lifetime? Keep in mind you are dealing with a government entity. For instance, just last summer/fall the state of Illinois stopped paying out on winning lottery tickets and presumably annuity checks for past winners due to a budget impasse.  What happens to you if for some reason the check doesn't show up on time?

                  Another consideration is taxes.  They could go up or they could go down.  It's a gamble! 

                  Also, if I remember correctly if you die before 20 years are up your heirs still get paid but they might have to come up with the estate tax on the whole remaining amount. 

                  On the other hand if you are in good health, don't need to worry about heirs, and trust the government then you could take the annuity and be ahead of the game.

                  Lotto Lucy

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                    NY
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                    Posted: February 3, 2016, 3:10 am - IP Logged

                    Since the ticket was already printed it makes no difference whos hand it's in. Had the customer bought the "mistake" only the title of the story would be different. Customer wins 7 million due to lottery agents mistake.

                    If the customer had accepted the ticket a lot of things would have changed. The only questions are exactly what those changes would have been, and whether or not you can recognize any of them.

                    The interaction between the clerk and the customer would have been different. The customer might have finished a tiny bit sooner or a tiny bit later. That would affect everybody that might have been waiting in line behind that customer. It might have had an effect on what the clerk did next and how soon he got to the next customer. It would have changed any interaction between the customer and anybody else going through the door at when he left. It may have affected other people in the parking lot. It may have affected other drivers when the customer got to stop signs or traffic lights. Every time somebody else was affected  the changes would ripple on to still other people. If anybody bothered to pay attention it would be easy to prove that some of those things changed, and it's obvious that some of those changes would result in other changes.

                    What's absolutely impossible is proving that any future event stayed the same. What's more, there's even a possibility that the numbers on the ticket aren't the same as they would have been if the customer had accepted it. Some research into quantum entanglement suggests that some events can have an effect on other events that have already happened. We've barely scratched the surface of how weird the universe can be.

                    You're free to make all the assumptions you want about other things remaining the same, but they're just unfounded assumptions. There's absolutely no evidence to prove that they're correct, or even logical.

                      Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
                      Bronx ny
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                      August 25, 2014
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                      Posted: February 3, 2016, 6:35 am - IP Logged

                      If the customer had accepted the ticket a lot of things would have changed. The only questions are exactly what those changes would have been, and whether or not you can recognize any of them.

                      The interaction between the clerk and the customer would have been different. The customer might have finished a tiny bit sooner or a tiny bit later. That would affect everybody that might have been waiting in line behind that customer. It might have had an effect on what the clerk did next and how soon he got to the next customer. It would have changed any interaction between the customer and anybody else going through the door at when he left. It may have affected other people in the parking lot. It may have affected other drivers when the customer got to stop signs or traffic lights. Every time somebody else was affected  the changes would ripple on to still other people. If anybody bothered to pay attention it would be easy to prove that some of those things changed, and it's obvious that some of those changes would result in other changes.

                      What's absolutely impossible is proving that any future event stayed the same. What's more, there's even a possibility that the numbers on the ticket aren't the same as they would have been if the customer had accepted it. Some research into quantum entanglement suggests that some events can have an effect on other events that have already happened. We've barely scratched the surface of how weird the universe can be.

                      You're free to make all the assumptions you want about other things remaining the same, but they're just unfounded assumptions. There's absolutely no evidence to prove that they're correct, or even logical.

                      If the customer accepted the ticket, the customer would have won 7 million dollars. No need to overcomplicate this issue.

                        ohiopick3's avatar - Lottery-063.jpg
                        Ohio
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                        December 14, 2003
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                        Posted: February 3, 2016, 8:36 pm - IP Logged

                        Very nice luck! The most I ever got on a mistake was $291.50 on a pick 3 by a clerk playing my wrong number.

                        Good for the Man! Enjoy the cash!

                          Bondi Junction
                          Australia
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                          December 24, 2007
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                          Posted: February 4, 2016, 3:42 am - IP Logged

                          A Virginia grocery store employee's mistake during Powerball jackpot fever earlier this month ended up turning into a $7 million windfall.

                          Michael Donnelly was ringing up Powerball tickets for customers at the Harris Teeter store in Falls Church. But for one transaction, he accidentally punched the wrong button on the lottery terminal and printed a Cash4Life ticket that the customer didn't want.

                          Donnelly ended up buying the "mistake" ticket for the January 7th drawing and it turned out to be winning ticket for the game's top prize. According to Virginia Lottery, the odds of winning the top prize for Cash4Life are 1 in 21.8 million.

                          The Woodbridge man chose the one-time lump sum of $7 million over the option of receiving $1,000 per day for the rest of his life.

                          After he called his wife about the big jackpot win, she told her husband, "If that's true, you have to come home because I'm about to have a heart attack!"

                          Harris-Teeter received a $50,000 bonus from Virginia Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

                          "It still hasn't hit me yet," Donnelly said.

                          News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

                          News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

                          Can I remain anonymous when I claim my lottery winnings?


                          When you win the Lottery in Virginia, it’s not a secret! Your name, hometown, prize amount, date of win and where you bought the ticket are all public record. In addition, if you win a larger or unusual prize, we post a news release with your photo (yes, your photo will be taken when you collect that prize).

                          The news release and photo can be posted on our website, Facebook page, other social media platforms like Twitter, or other places for reasonable publicity, and it might be reported in news media. If you win a really large or unusual prize, we might hold a news conference with you.

                          Remember, the Virginia Lottery offers games to all Virginians, and they're played by Virginians who love games…and people want to know where those big Lottery prizes are won! Putting it into law is the state's way of keeping the Lottery honest. You don't need to take our word for it; you can see it for yourself. After all, if you never heard about any big winners, would you play?

                          By the way, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act allows the Lottery not to release a player's home address, phone number and Social Security number – and we don't.

                           

                          Virginia Lottery - FAQs

                          We all get a lot out of lotteries!

                            Bondi Junction
                            Australia
                            Member #57242
                            December 24, 2007
                            1102 Posts
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                            Posted: February 4, 2016, 3:50 am - IP Logged

                            Can I remain anonymous when I claim my lottery winnings?


                            When you win the Lottery in Virginia, it’s not a secret! Your name, hometown, prize amount, date of win and where you bought the ticket are all public record. In addition, if you win a larger or unusual prize, we post a news release with your photo (yes, your photo will be taken when you collect that prize).

                            The news release and photo can be posted on our website, Facebook page, other social media platforms like Twitter, or other places for reasonable publicity, and it might be reported in news media. If you win a really large or unusual prize, we might hold a news conference with you.

                            Remember, the Virginia Lottery offers games to all Virginians, and they're played by Virginians who love games…and people want to know where those big Lottery prizes are won! Putting it into law is the state's way of keeping the Lottery honest. You don't need to take our word for it; you can see it for yourself. After all, if you never heard about any big winners, would you play?

                            By the way, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act allows the Lottery not to release a player's home address, phone number and Social Security number – and we don't.

                             

                            Virginia Lottery - FAQs

                            I hope the Virginia Lottery will reconsider this policy. If you live in Virginia , please email the lottery in support of the right of winners' to remain anonymous.

                            We all get a lot out of lotteries!

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                              Portland, OR
                              United States
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                              August 20, 2013
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                              Posted: February 7, 2016, 9:02 pm - IP Logged

                              Sometimes these kind of things pay; sometimes not much but I like all that.  The other day I went to the store to buy a megamillion ticket.  Cashier guy said, sorry, I tried to run it and machine said they are doing the drawing at this moment.  I said that's ok, give me a ticket for the next drawing.  He said he couldn't do anything during a drawing and that I had missed the chance to buy it by 6 minutes.  Immediately I got a MM ticket at the store and put the number 6 as Megaball and 5 other numbers at home.  Well, I got the Megaball 6 and one number in the next drawing.  That was within the last two weeks.  Pay attention to things like this.  If store employee gives you the wrong ticket, buy it.  These employees are a goldmine sometimes.  LOL.

                              "Understand... people are more complicated than the masks they wear in society... everyone is playing to win, and some people will use moral justifications to advance their side"

                                                                                                                                                                                        Robert Greene