Woman In Tennessee Bites Into Oyster And Hits ‘Lottery’ Of Pearls

A hungry woman found herself with a mouthful of pearls when she bit into an oyster at a restaurant in Tennessee on Thursday.

According to Good Morning America, Toni Elliot decided to have lunch with friends at Puckett’s Boat House in Franklin. When she bit into an oyster, she knew right away something was wrong. That’s when she called the manager, Greg Hargest, over to the table to inspect what she had bitten into. Hargest said Elliot had already figured out what was in her oyster.

“I went over to see if she was okay, and she goes, ‘Oh yes, I just found this pearl in [my] mouth!’ She started pulling out more pearls from her mouth, and the whole table started laughing.”

Almost like a magic trick, more pearls appeared in the oyster. The 53-year-old woman took a closer look at her oyster and found many more baby pearls inside. In fact, there was a total of 50 pearls in that one oyster.

Toni Elliot and her pearls.

“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” Hergest said. “We’ve had cases where someone might find one pearl, but this is the first time someone’s found 50.”

“It was her oyster, so they’re her pearls,” Hergest explained. “It’s like winning the lottery. She was so excited to have them.”

The restaurant gets its oysters from the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana. Oysters develop pearls to protect itself against foreign substances. The oyster forms layers of nacre over an irritant, which will eventually form a pearl.

It is not uncommon for a person to find a pearl in an oyster, but to find more than that is quite a feat, according to WKRN.

Eric Horton, the server of the Elliot’s table, confirmed her surprise at finding more than one pearl. He said the woman was pretty shocked at finding so many pearls in her lunch. He shared his own surprise at seeing so many pearls come out of a fried oyster after working at the restaurant for so long.

“I’m one of the longer tenured people here, so having seen that, being a part of that is pretty cool.”

The restaurant cleaned off the pearls once they were all extracted from the dish and gave them back to Elliot. Elliot took them away with her, but no one is certain what she decided to do with the pearls from her oyster lunch or how much they were worth. The most expensive pearls are perfectly round.

[Photos by Cancan Chu/Getty Images and WKRN]