TV news segment leads man to discover $24.1 million lottery win

By Ben Hooper  |  Oct. 12, 2017 at 11:55 AM
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Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A 68-year-old New Jersey man said a TV news report led to his discovering that he won $24.1 million from the New York Lotto.

Jimmie Smith of East Orange told New York Lottery officials he was watching a segment on the evening news about an unclaimed $24.1 million lottery jackpot from a May 25, 2016, drawing, and the broadcast led him to retrieve a stack of unchecked tickets he had stashed in the pocket of a shirt hanging in his closet.

"I ended up with a stack; a pile of tickets, including the one they were talking about on the news," Smith said. "I stood there for a minute thinking, 'Do I see what I think I see?' I had to stick my head out the window and breathe in some fresh air. I was in serious doubt. I really had to convince myself this was real."

Smith's ticket, which he purchased from Renu Sales in Tribeca, was found to indeed match the numbers from the drawing: 05-12-13-22-25-35.

Smith, a father of 2 and grandfather of 12, said he has been playing the lottery since the 1960s, but he never rushes to check his tickets.

"I always told myself, 'I'll check them when I have the time,'" he said.

Smith said he plans to hold an "all-family discussion" to discuss what to do with his newfound riches.

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