Jimmie Smith a New Jersey retired security officer, had an old shirt hanging in his closet. Stuffed in its pockets was a stack of unchecked lottery tickets.
More than a year ago, Smith bought a ticket to the New York Lotto.
The winning numbers for the May 25, 2016 drawing were: 05 – 12 – 13 – 22 – 25 – 35.
The New York Gaming Commission knew the winning ticket, worth $24.1 million, was sold at a bodega in New York City but it didn’t know who bought the ticket.
Winners have a year to claim the prize and that expiration day was quickly approaching.
So the New York Lottery started to get the word out.
“We urge New York Lottery players: Check your pockets. Check your glove box. Look under the couch cushions. If you have this winning ticket, we look forward to meeting you,” Gweneth Dean, director of the Commission’s Division of the Lottery, said at the time.
Jimmie Smith heard the news somewhere and immediately went up to the closet where the old shirt hung.
When the numbers matched up, he “stood there for a minute thinking, ‘Do I see what I think I see?'”
That was on May 23, 2017. He’d have been ineligible to collect after May 25, 2017.
Jimmie had said “I always told myself, ‘I’ll check them when I have the time,” had he waited two days longer, he’d have lost out on $24.1 million.
Dean, of the gaming commission, said “We are thrilled that this lucky winner was able to locate this life-changing ticket,”
Quite a fascinating incident that has been well documented.