A Kansas man who won a $50,000 lottery prize had to rush back to the store when he realized his winning ticket had accidentally been thrown away.
Topeka resident Kevin Hayek plays Powerball every week, but he doesn't check his tickets that often. Last Wednesday, he was getting his morning coffee at a convenience store when the urge to finally check his Powerball tickets from the October 18 drawing struck him.
"The first ticket the store clerk scanned wasn't a winner, but when she scanned the next ticket, the machine just went crazy. Neither one of us had ever seen anything like it," said Hayek. "It printed out this long claim form, and the clerk gave it to me and I put it in my pocket and went to my job site."
It wasn't until he got to work that Hayek started reading the claim form with a co-worker, who noticed that Hayek was missing a very important document: the winning ticket.
"When I realized I didn't have the ticket, I hopped back into the truck and went back to the store. The clerk had accidentally thrown it away with the non-winning ticket," Hayek said.
Luckily, the ticket was still right there in the store.
When Hayek returned to work he checked his numbers online to figure out what the ticket was worth. That's when he discovered he had matched four of the first five Powerball numbers and the Powerball, which was a $50,000 winner.
Hayek says he plans to pay off some loans and give his motorcycle a "facelift." He's been with the Topeka School District in maintenance, plumbing, and heating work for 36 years.
"I've never won more than $2 or $4 before. I didn't believe I had won at first, but it's finally starting to sink in," Hayek added.
The winning ticket was sold at the Kwik Shop 789, located at 746 NE Wabash Avenue in Topeka.
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