John Holder bought a ‘Jumbo Bucks’ scratch card whilst at a gas station. He scratched it, and realised he was $50,000 richer before he even left the store.
The store assistant told him he should sign the back of the winning ticket right away, which he did, and also took a copy of the ticket for him.
But John’s excitement turned to despair just hours later when he arrived home and the ticket was nowhere to be found. He could only conclude that the stranger he had been giving a ride to had stolen his $50,000 winning ticket!
John from Columbia, Tennessee was dismayed but not entirely without hope. But he had resigned himself to a tricky fight with the Tennessee Lottery company to prove he was the rightful winner.
So it came as an enormous relief on Thursday when the winning ticket arrived in a plain envelope at lottery headquarters. It was simply marked ‘Lost & Found’ and had been mailed from Nashville. John said:
It’s good to know someone had a conscience and decided to give this back to me. I figured the ticket was gone.
The Tennessee Lottery verified John’s signature on the back of the ticket, and have now awarded him his $50,000 prize.
CEO of the Tennessee Lottery, Rebecca Hargrove, said:
We’re delighted this all worked out, and it’s a great lesson for all our winners. Always sign your ticket.
John now plans to use the money to clear his debts, and to give a helping hand to his daughters.
And what of the person who took his ticket?
John says they could have destroyed the ticket but instead chose to return it, so there are no hard feelings as far as he is concerned.