A Canadian man was just cleaning out his closet when he stumbled upon a find that will change his life: a forgotten-about lottery ticket that turned out to be worth $1.75 million.
As CBC News reports, Gregorio De Santis of Montreal was cleaning out an old closet and getting ready to take clothes to a donation center, when he grabbed an old jacket. Ever diligent to check the pockets, he found a scrap of paper – an old lottery ticket, from December 6, 2017, to be specific.
De Santis thought the ticket might be worth “a few bucks,” so he took it to get validated.
As it turns out, his ticket was worth more than a few bucks: it was worth $1.75 million of them (in Canadian money, of course, which works out to about $1.32 million USD).
At first, De Santis thought his ticket was worth $1,750, when he saw the digits come up when it was scanned by a machine. It was actually worth a thousand times that.
On Friday, the lucky Montrealer went to Loto-Québec to collect his one-quarter share of the $6 million jackpot from that particular draw. He says he was still “in shock” when he was given the oversized prop to pose for photographs with.
— Montreal Gazette (@mtlgazette) September 20, 2018
As it turns out, De Santis was lucky in more ways than one. Loto-Québec, like just about every lottery, has a statute of limitations on when old tickets can be claimed, in this case, one year. Since the ticket was sold in December 2017, that means that if De Santis had waited a couple more months to clean out his old closet, he’d have been out of luck (literally and figuratively).
Speaking of cleaning out that closet, De Santis credits his sister for getting on him to get the job done.
“I would never have looked in that wardrobe without her.”
As for what he’s going to do with the money, De Santis is nearing an age when it’s time to start thinking about retiring, so he’s looking into how to make that happen with his new windfall. He’s also, like most Canadians, a giant hockey fan, and he’ll now be able to afford to go to more Montreal Canadiens games, something he says he plans to do with his nephew.
From time to time, stories of old lottery tickets being found at the best possible time pop up in the news. In October 2017, for example, as CNBC News reported at the time, a New Jersey man found a lottery ticket in his shirt pocket that was just days from expiring. It turned out to be worth $24.1 million.