Convenience Store Clerk Returns Woman’s $1 Million Lottery Ticket


It sounds like the kind of hypothetical question you might debate among friends: If you found a winning, $1 million scratch ticket, would you try to find its original owner? Or would you keep the money for yourself?

A convenience store clerk in Massachusetts recently had the chance to answer that question for real. Abhi Shah told ABC News that he was going through discarded tickets one night when he discovered that one of those tickets had an unscratched number. It turned out the ticket was a winner, to the tune of $1 million.

Think, just for a second, about how easy it would have been to claim that ticket for yourself. But while that must have crossed Shah’s mind, he knew exactly who had discarded the ticket: Lea Rose Fiega, who is a regular at his parents’ convenience store.


Lea Rose Fiega threw out a $1 million lottery ticket, thinking she had lost. Photo Credit: Massachusetts State Lottery


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

When Shah discovered the ticket 10 days later, he went straight to Fiega’s office and told her to come back to the store. “So I went over there and that’s when they told me. I was in total disbelief. I cried, I hugged them.”

Fiega is now $1 million richer. And as for Shah: his family’s store gets a $10,000 bonus from the state lottery commission for selling the winning ticket. On top of that, Fiega kicked in a little bonus of her own. “I mean, who does that?” she asked ABC. “They’re great people. I am beyond blessed.”

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