The chances of winning the Mega Millions are about 1 in 258.9 million. With those kinds of odds, you’re far likelier to be hit by lighting twice in a lifetime and survive.
It would be safe to assume that anyone with a winning ticket would hold on to it with an iron grip. A convenience store clerk in Salina, Kansas, has proved that’s not always the case.
A Kansas man bought a lottery ticket for the March 16 draw at a Mity Mart in Lincoln.
The Kansas Lottery says a $1 million Mega Millions ticket was sold in north-central part of the state.The winning numbers for Friday were: 01-13-26-33-52, Megaball: 11
Last weekend, the Lincoln County man was running some errands with his brother. They stopped at a gas station in Salina, 40 miles from Lincoln, to fill up the car, and he asked his brother if he could check the lottery tickets while they were there.
“My brother went in to check my tickets. He apparently dropped the unsigned Mega Millions ticket, and then we left to go back home,” the man said.
Eager to get home and watch the NCAA basketball tournament, he didn’t notice the ticket was missing, and assumed he’d not won anything.
Had he known what his brother had dropped, you can bet there would have been more of a scramble to retrace his steps and find it.
When the gas station clerks found the lottery ticket and ran the numbers, they knew what they had to do.
UPDATE! We found the gas station employees who returned the MILLION DOLLAR lottery ticket to the winner! They work at Pit Stop in Salina. I’ll have more from them tonight on KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
After checking the ticket, the gas station clerks realized it was worth $1 million!
Because the ticket was unsigned, anyone could have cashed it in and claimed the prize. But the employees at the gas station weren’t going to take the windfall for themselves.
Efforts to find the rightful owner of the ticket were launched, and the owner of the convenience store’s son came in to lend a hand in the search.
“We had already been home for about an hour, and then went out and ran another errand. As we passed the store, the owner’s son pulled out behind us and flagged us down,” the winner said in a statement.
“He explained what happened and handed me the ticket, and I just couldn’t believe it!”
The winner wanted to stay anonymous, and the names of the Salina gas station and kind people who tracked him down were also trying to be kept secret.
KWCH News later revealed it was the Pit Stop gas station.
Meanwhile, staff at the Mity Mart where the winning ticket was bought are celebrating.
“I am so excited for this person,” Katie Black, a clerk at the Mity Mart that sold the ticket, told KWCH. “I wish I knew who it was but they chose to stay anonymous and we really do respect that.”
“We’ve been racking our brains all morning thinking, ‘who have I sold a Mega Millions ticket to in the last week?'” Black said.
As well as the payout of the huge winnings to the man who bought the ticket, the Mity Mart will receive a $1,000 bonus for selling a winning ticket.
There is no word on whether the honest clerk who returned the ticket will be rewarded for his honesty.
“It’s just nice to know there are still good Samaritans around, not just pure greed,” Shelly Thomas, who works in another Salina convenience store, told KWCH.