$1M Winning Lottery Ticket Saved from Trash in Michigan

Estimated read time 3 min read

A Michigan woman recently went to toss two scratch-off lottery tickets into the garbage, but decided to check the numbers one last time before she did. It was a smart, and profitable, decision.

The door to the Michigan Lottery office, pictured above. A woman almost tossed out a winning lottery ticket. Instead, she checked it one last time and went to the lottery office to claim her prize. (Image: CNN)

The 30-year-old Clinton County resident scooped the tickets out of a bag filled with trash and checked the numbers one last time. To her surprise, one of the tickets had a $1 million prize.

When I saw I’d won $1 million, my heart started racing and I thought I was going to faint,” she recalled in a statement released on Monday by the Michigan Lottery. “I am so glad I decided to look the ticket over again before throwing it away.”

The unnamed woman purchased the scratch-off tickets for $10 each at Hansen’s Quik Stop in Ovid, Mich., the prior night.

She decided to buy two of the Sizzling Hot 7’s tickets because it’s a newer game, the woman said. “I scratched the tickets when I got in my car and thought they were both non-winners, so I put them in a bag with some other garbage to throw away.”

The next morning, she decided to check “one more time before throwing them away,” she said. Upon her discovery, she immediately telephoned her mom and husband to let them know she won.

She decided to take her winnings as a lump sum payment of about $693K rather than taking the $1M in 30 payments. She recently went to Michigan Lottery headquarters to claim her prize.

With her winnings, she’s going to buy a house and invest some of the money for the future.

Plays Instant Games

The lottery winner said she regularly plays new instant lottery games when they come out each month. The Sizzling Hot 7’s game began in January.

Since its launch, the lottery game has given out more than $15 million.

Prizes range from $10 up to $1 million, which is the top prize.

To win, players need to look at the images on the Sizzling Hot 7’s tickets. There are spots on the right of the ticket for Hot $20, Hot $30, Hot $50, and Hot $100. If a player finds a red star symbol in any hot spot, they win that amount.

On the ticket’s main playing area, gamblers can look to match any of their numbers to any of the hot numbers for a chance to win the prize shown for that number. If the matching “your number” area is red, the player wins double that prize amount. If the ticket shows a red “Flaming 7” symbol, the player will win $50.

The overall odds to win are 1 in 3.77.

Check Tickets

It’s important to check lottery tickets before discarding them.

The Michigan example isn’t the first time a winning lottery ticket nearly wound up in the garbage.

In 2021, a customer glanced at a lottery ticket too quickly at a Massachusetts convenience store. She thought it was a losing ticket and threw it away.

The son of the store’s owners checked the ticket one last time. It too was a $1M winner. He took it to the customer and she won the jackpot.

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