Kansas lottery winner rescues $50,000 ticket from trash

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  Nov. 14, 2017 at 12:54 PM
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Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A Kansas man who won a $50,000 lottery jackpot had to rush back to the store when he realized his winning ticket had accidentally been thrown away.

Kevin Hayek of Topeka told Kansas Lottery officials he plays the Powerball every week, but he only occasionally remembers to take his tickets in to check them.

Hayek said he was getting coffee at a convenience store Wednesday when he remembered he still had two tickets from the Oct. 18 Powerball drawing.

"The first ticket the store clerk scanned wasn't a winner, but when she scanned the next ticket, the machine just went crazy. Neither one of us had ever seen anything like it," Hayek said. "It printed out this long claim form, and the clerk gave it to me and I put it in my pocket and went to my job site."

Hayek said it wasn't until he was at work and discussing the win with a coworker that he realized he had left his winning ticket, which matched four of the first five Powerball numbers and the Powerball, at the store.

"When I realized I didn't have the ticket, I hopped back into the truck and went back to the store. The clerk had accidentally thrown it away with the non-winning ticket!" Hayek said.

The lucky winner was able to rescue his winning ticker from the trash and collect his $50,000 prize.

Hayek said he plans to use his winnings to pay off his loans and give his motorcycle "a facelift."

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