Convenience store owners return winning lottery ticket to woman who threw it away

A woman who threw away a lottery ticket worth $1 million got it back thanks to the kindness of convenience store owners.

Lea Fiega did not have much time on March 16, the day she bought her scratch ticket for $30 at a Lucky Stop near her work in Southwick, Massachusetts.

“I was in a hurry on lunch break and just scratched it real quick and looked at it, and it didn’t look like a winner, so I handed it over to them to throw away,” she said.

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Ten days after the purchase, Abhi Shah, the son of the store’s owners, went through tickets that patrons discarded when he found Fiega’s. Seeing that she did not scratch the ticket all the way, he finished the job and found the prize, he told the Associated Press.

Rather than taking it for himself, Shah brought it to his parents, who own the store, and the family knew the ticket belonged to Fiega, a regular customer who had given Shah’s mother the ticket to throw away when she thought it was worthless, according to MassLive.

Fiega, who survived a fight with COVID-19 in January, appeared worried something was wrong when Shah showed up to her work, asking her to come to the store, but he assured her he had good news, he said.

“No, it’s something good. It will change your life,” Shah told her.

Fiega cried and hugged the family after they gave her the ticket, she said.

“I mean, who does that? They’re great people. I am beyond blessed,” she said.

The store owners will receive a $10,000 bonus from the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, according to the Associated Press.

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Fiega will give the owners part of her winnings and put the rest toward her retirement, she said.