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Lucky "mistake" helped Iowa man win $1 million Mega Millions lottery prize

Apr 21, 2022, 6:54 am

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Mega MillionsMega Millions: Lucky "mistake" helped Iowa man win $1 million Mega Millions lottery prizeRating:

Ticket printing mishap gives player a lucky break

Includes audio report

By Kate Northrop

WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa — A mistake that occurred while printing a Mega Millions lottery ticket led to an Iowa man winning a $1 million second-tier prize.

Josh Buster of West Burlington is positive that a clerk's slip-up is the reason why he won $1 million in the Mega Millions drawing on April 15.

The Mega Millions jackpot for the drawing on Fri., April 15 was $20 million, and Buster made sure he bought his tickets in time for the draw.

He stopped at the local MK Mini Mart on East Mount Pleasant Street in West Burlington, where he asked for five Mega Millions Quick Picks. At first, the convenience store employee printed only one play on a single ticket from the lottery terminal and asked Buster if it was fine to print four more plays on another ticket.

"I feel like that changed the numbers that I would have gotten if he had put them all on one instead of making that mistake," Buster told the Iowa Lottery.

The morning after the draw, the restaurant prep chef got up to get ready for work and checked his tickets right before he drove off for the day.

"I got up to go to work early in the morning," the 40-year-old recalled. "I opened up the lottery app and scanned my tickets. I always keep my tickets in the console of my car, and I scanned it in the car and freaked out and ran back inside."

Buster said that he had trouble believing what he was seeing, but it didn't change the fact that one of his Quick Picks had matched five numbers in the Mega Millions drawing on April 15: 4, 17, 20, 46, and 64, just missing the Mega Ball 23. The Megaplier was 4.

Had he hit the Mega Ball number, Buster would have split the $20 million jackpot with another winner from Tennessee. The lump sum cash option was $11.9 million.

"I don't usually have good luck, so I thought it was a mistake and there was going to be an error," he continued. "So I Googled the lottery numbers to make sure I had the right ones, and I did! And then the rest of the day, I'm just waiting to wake up from a dream."

This was no dream. A visit to Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive on Monday to collect his $1 million prize only cemented the reality for him.

Buster is also the second player to win at least a $1 million prize in Iowa this year, and he said he plans on using it to pay off his car and the mortgage on his mother's house. Once that is done, he'll save the rest for retirement.

Federal and state taxes on the $1 million prize come out to be $240,000 and $50,000, respectively, so the winner will walk away with $710,000 in net winnings, according to the Lottery.

"It will take away a lot of stress in my life — no more of the financial worries," he expressed.

While Buster regularly plays the lottery, it never actually crossed his mind that he would win big one day.

"I always wanted to!" he said in a press release. "I never thought I would, though, but I kept playing."

The MK Mini Mart will receive a $1,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the $1 million-winning ticket.

The Mega Millions jackpot currently sits at $22 million for the next drawing on Fri., April 22 at 11:00 pm EST.

AUDIO: Listen to the interview

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

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24 comments. Last comment 2 months ago by LottoBux.
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loonasee2's avatar - vb567
50
Syracuse
United States
Member #95124
August 4, 2010
24489 Posts
Offline

Great ,good for you .

US FlagIs the Risk Worth the Reward ?

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

    "Ticket printing mishap??" He asked for 5 quick picks, he received 5 quick picks, one single and four together. Not really sure if it matters if the picks are combined or singles.One thing is certain, when the jackpot is won, it gives license to the winner to say anything true or not.

      Avatar
      Central, Florida
      United States
      Member #185459
      November 2, 2017
      1978 Posts
      Offline

      Congratulations!!

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
        50
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        26792 Posts
        Online

        "Ticket printing mishap??" He asked for 5 quick picks, he received 5 quick picks, one single and four together. Not really sure if it matters if the picks are combined or singles.One thing is certain, when the jackpot is won, it gives license to the winner to say anything true or not.

        I think the winner was exactly right.  If he had received all his 5 quick picks on one ticket, they would almost certainly be different numbers than what he ended up with.  That's because a random number generator typically uses a time counter as a seed value when generating the numbers.  Because of the delay in printing the second ticket containing the remaining 4 lines, he likely received completely different numbers due to the later moment in time they were generated.

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

          One of the combinations was the winner. It doesn't say which one. So we'd have to assume it was one from the group of four. I think the takeaway from this is to always buy single tickets

            Avatar
            Simpsonville
            United States
            Member #163182
            January 22, 2015
            2915 Posts
            Offline

            Lady Luck on his side!   Certainly though different than this story have bought tickets that purchasers didn't want hoping to hit the big one.

             

            Haven't play MM in a while now, never thought those words would come from my fingertips.  Playing PB though and found a $10 scratcher in the trash, and PB ticket from that came to $14=more tickets!  The two salesladies each received a PB ticket too since they're always nice to my dog when we come in!

              Ranett's avatar - NBie0qv

              United States
              Member #201957
              November 3, 2019
              1617 Posts
              Offline

              Well done Josh.

                Avatar
                Gallatin Tennesee
                United States
                Member #194096
                November 29, 2018
                178 Posts
                Offline

                Congratulations to Mr. Buster. He is a smart man. Even though he is only 40, he realizes that it is never too early to save for retirement. There is a lot a person can accomplish with $710,000. May he spend it wisely.

                CheersUS Flag

                Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.

                .......Sir Winston Churchill

                  rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
                  100
                  Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler
                  The Hall Of The Mountain Kings Tennessee
                  United States
                  Member #73902
                  April 28, 2009
                  15320 Posts
                  Offline

                  One of the combinations was the winner. It doesn't say which one. So we'd have to assume it was one from the group of four. I think the takeaway from this is to always buy single tickets

                  But if he had bought single tickets on this particular occasion he would not have gotten those particular numbers nor won that particular prize.

                  The RNG waits for no man.

                  Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin' into the future. 

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

                    Wow there's so much I don't know!. Perhaps LPs roving reporter Kate Northrop could get us the inside scoop on random generated quick pick selections

                      Avatar
                      ma
                      United States
                      Member #188574
                      March 15, 2018
                      118 Posts
                      Offline

                      One of the combinations was the winner. It doesn't say which one. So we'd have to assume it was one from the group of four. I think the takeaway from this is to always buy single tickets

                      Buying single tickets or all on one ticket has absolutely no bearing on this or any drawing. Also the explanation of it being a printing ticket mishap is inaccurate. It is entirely the result of the clerk either not hearing or understanding what the customer wanted or it was the clerk making the error which resulted in the win. He should tip the clerk extra for this but made no mention of tipping him period. Do you think his mother will leave the house to him now.

                        Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
                        50
                        Chief Bottle Washer
                        New Jersey
                        United States
                        Member #1
                        May 31, 2000
                        26792 Posts
                        Online

                        Buying single tickets or all on one ticket has absolutely no bearing on this or any drawing. Also the explanation of it being a printing ticket mishap is inaccurate. It is entirely the result of the clerk either not hearing or understanding what the customer wanted or it was the clerk making the error which resulted in the win. He should tip the clerk extra for this but made no mention of tipping him period. Do you think his mother will leave the house to him now.

                        You're right, the ticket purchase has no bearing on the drawing.  But there is nothing in this story that indicates that it alters the drawing in any way.  Where do you see that?

                         

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                          Avatar

                          United States
                          Member #149388
                          November 30, 2013
                          83 Posts
                          Offline

                          Nice win but with an extra $1 spent that $1M would have been $4M.

                            Avatar
                            ma
                            United States
                            Member #188574
                            March 15, 2018
                            118 Posts
                            Offline

                            You're right, the ticket purchase has no bearing on the drawing.  But there is nothing in this story that indicates that it alters the drawing in any way.  Where do you see that?

                               I didn't. You ask for quick pics and this type of thing happens. You fill out cards and it never happens. His ticket purchase had a bearing on the numbers he got and it did work out this time.