PORTLAND, OR — A store manager at a local lottery shop in southeast Portland, Oregon, went above and beyond to help a customer who'd lost their winning ticket.
Last week, Mary Peabody's husband Larry came home with a big surprise.
"He left for work and then he came home and handed me the ticket and said 'put this in a safe place, and it's for you,'" Peabody said.
It was a $1,200 winning lottery ticket her husband bought at the Lucky Spot store at Southeast 148th Avenue and Southeast Stark Street.
But the couple's winnings were too high to redeem within the store, so Peabody says they went to Wilsonville to cash it.
But when they pulled out their envelope where they thought it was, the ticket wasn't there that day. They searched everywhere and couldn't find it.
So, they returned to the Lucky Spot, hoping by mere chance the store still had it.
"She said 'it's not here I don't have it,'" Peabody said. "So she said maybe somebody will look for it in the garbage tonight. We're never going to find this ticket, so at that point we wrote it off."
That's when Manager Deana Thompson took her efforts to a whole new level by dumpster diving to find the ticket.
"Went through everything and we just brought all the trash in and we lined it up on the outside and brought some inside and started going through it one by one," Thompson said.
In mounds of all that garbage, they eventually found the needle in a haystack.
"It was a lot of hours, but yeah," Thompson said. "For 48 hours when I had the ticket waiting I was just so excited I couldn't wait to see her."
Peabody was able to cash in that $1,200 winning ticket.
"She didn't have to do anything for us, she didn't have to go through the garbage and look for this ticket and if she did find the ticket she could've kept it. She's an honest, lovely person," Peabody said. "Like my husband said, it's like we won the lottery twice."
The couple was stunned by the amazing act of customer service.
But Thompson says she had no second thoughts about what she did that day to help them find their winning ticket.
"I would do it again, I would do it for any customer," Thompson said.
Peabody says she and her husband are using the money for an upcoming trip for her husband's birthday.
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