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Massachusetts family returns winning scratch-off worth $1 million to customer who threw it out

May 24, 2021, 4:30 pm

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Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Massachusetts family returns winning scratch-off worth $1 million to customer who threw it outRating:

Lottery player made richer after a selfless act of kindness

By Kate Northrop

SOUTHWICK, Mass. — A woman almost lost out on a million dollars after throwing away a lottery ticket that she thought was a loser, but a family made a selfless decision to return the ticket to her when they discovered it was worth much more than she thought.

The Shah family, who runs the Lucky Stop liquor store on College Highway in Southwick, Massachusetts, had a regular customer hand back a $30 "Diamond Millions" scratch-off ticket after she told them it wasn't worth anything. The ticket sat in the store for ten days before a closer look led the family to an ethical crossroad.

One night, Abhi Shah, the son of store owner Maunish Shah, was sifting through the lottery tickets in the trash bin when he found the fateful ticket.

"One evening, I was going through the tickets from the trash and outside, and I found out that she didn't scratch the number," Abhi told WWLP. "I scratched the number, and it was one million dollars underneath the ticket."

The Shah's grappled with the choice in front of them — keep the $1 million winning ticket for themselves, or return it to the customer who threw it out?

"I mean, I had $1 million in my hand, and on the other hand, I wanted to do something good," Abhi deliberated.

At first, the Shah's tried to justify keeping the ticket and asked other family members if they needed money.

"We didn't sleep two nights," Maunish admitted. "[Abhi] called my mom, grandparents in India, and asked what to do. They said, 'Give it back. We don't want that money.'"

It was a difficult decision to make, but in the end, the Shah's decided to return the ticket to the customer who bought it. She shopped at Lucky Stop regularly, so they simply had to wait for her to come by.

"As soon as she came in, I hand her [the] $1 million ticket, and she freaked out and cried like a baby," Abhi recalled. "She sat down on the floor right here."

The lucky winner was Lea Rose Fiega of Springfield, who, thanks to the Shah's kindness, walked away with a $1 million top prize before taxes. The store also received a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

The "Diamond Millions" game offered 80 top prizes of $1 million in cash, 120 second prizes of $20,000, and 700 third prizes of $3,000 at the start of the game in April 2019.

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34 comments. Last comment 5 days ago by billybucks.
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rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
100
Texas
United States
Member #55887
October 23, 2007
11311 Posts
Offline

Happy for her. 

And nice to know that there are still good and honest people out there.

CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

    Nikkicute's avatar - wi lotto3.jpg
    Wisconsin
    United States
    Member #123284
    February 17, 2012
    4407 Posts
    Offline

    Wow, nice to see an article of store owners doing the right thing.

    Please, everybody double check those tickets!!

    Big congrats to the winner!Thumbs Up

      Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
      Bronx ny
      United States
      Member #158510
      August 25, 2014
      680 Posts
      Offline

      Guess it pays off looking thought the garbage

        Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
        Bronx ny
        United States
        Member #158510
        August 25, 2014
        680 Posts
        Offline

        Guess it pays off looking thought the garbage

        It mattered that it was the store owner that found the ticket, and traced it to the purchaser..Had any one else picked up the ticket from the garbage would be under no obligation. Nor would they think a found ticket would be a million dollars.

          wander73's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

          United States
          Member #153767
          March 24, 2014
          5031 Posts
          Online

          Why would anyone throw out a lottery ticket?    Thats all I will say.

          Anyone can beat my price,  no one can beat my value.

          I don't sell the steak,  I sell the sizzle!

          I set the market value on items

            Avatar
            Chasing $ Millions.
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136471
            December 12, 2012
            6622 Posts
            Offline

            ..so the Shah family asked other members of their group " if they needed money" not their money,  but another person's money, and it's only after getting a call from India did their consciences kick in?.. okay.

            I go back to thinking about " what if this Shah family finally thought that the lottery officials" would suspect them of thievery if one of the family members came forth to claim the million dollars?

            Other store clerks have been arrested in the past, and l can think of that guy who hightailed it to Nepal years ago after claiming millions that was not his.

            Shah made the right decision, but his original intentions were questionable..

             * Voice of Reason *   

            * The Truth Hurts *

            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

              KY Floyd's avatar - 3 hour-tour.jpg
              NY
              United States
              Member #23834
              October 16, 2005
              4405 Posts
              Offline

              If you find that much money and don't give any thought at all to keeping it you're way out at the last lonely data point on the bell curve. This is one of the reasons for the saying that everybody has a price.

                Avatar

                New Zealand
                Member #177451
                September 29, 2016
                41 Posts
                Offline

                Why would anyone throw out a lottery ticket?    Thats all I will say.

                people throw out losing tickets all the time. Otherwise they would just pile up.

                 

                If you think a ticket is a loser, would you keep it? I wouldn't. Mind,I would also use the self-check barcode reader in teh shop (I am in NZ, they have one in my local shop). Only if that comes up "not a winner" would I throw out the ticket.

                The woman thought her ticket was a loser.. so she threw it out.

                  Avatar
                  Simpsonville
                  United States
                  Member #163182
                  January 22, 2015
                  2584 Posts
                  Offline

                  people throw out losing tickets all the time. Otherwise they would just pile up.

                   

                  If you think a ticket is a loser, would you keep it? I wouldn't. Mind,I would also use the self-check barcode reader in teh shop (I am in NZ, they have one in my local shop). Only if that comes up "not a winner" would I throw out the ticket.

                  The woman thought her ticket was a loser.. so she threw it out.

                  Article said she was rushed...and the Shah family discovered she hadn't completely scratched the ticket which explains why she didn't know.

                    Avatar
                    New Member

                    United States
                    Member #207112
                    June 2, 2020
                    1 Posts
                    Offline

                    My Question is--How did they know that it was her ticket that was thrown away?

                    JIM TOM

                      Goldrock$'s avatar - animated sphere.gif
                      New Member
                      Rocky Mount, N.C.
                      United States
                      Member #189153
                      April 7, 2018
                      9 Posts
                      Offline

                      I suppose there probably isn't that many 30 dollar ticket sold there?  But it still would take some investigation to figure out who it was who bought it? 10 thousand isn't chump change either. I hope she still kicked them a little extra also.

                        Avatar
                        Simpsonville
                        United States
                        Member #163182
                        January 22, 2015
                        2584 Posts
                        Offline

                        Thought crossed my mind too.   Some folks are Blessed with a photographic memory or if they have video surveillance...yada yada.  Sounds like she is a regular, how else would they know who her employer is AND her name??

                          Avatar

                          United States
                          Member #136773
                          December 18, 2012
                          31 Posts
                          Offline

                          Why would anyone throw out a lottery ticket?    Thats all I will say.

                          The ticket owner said she was in a rush and scratched the ticket quickly without scratching the entire ticket and thought it was a losing ticket and left the store.

                            Avatar

                            United States
                            Member #136773
                            December 18, 2012
                            31 Posts
                            Offline

                            My Question is--How did they know that it was her ticket that was thrown away?

                            The article said the woman was a regular customer in the store. Since the woman had just purchased the 30 dollar scratch-off in the store, which she probably was the only customer in the store at the time -odds are the store owners knew it was her ticket.