A Stranger Returned His Lost Lottery Tickets. Then He Won $273 Million

A New Jersey man won a whopping $273 million lottery jackpot. The timely return of his lost lottery tickets by a stranger made history in the gambling world otherwise it would have been certainly impossible. The man Michael J. Wiersky told reporters that he had lost two tickets immediately after he bought them at a QuickChek at Phillipsburg, NJ., on the previous day of the draw.

The negligence of lottery tickets came as a result of paying more attention to the cellphone. “I left behind the tickets down as I was checking my money, then I did something with the mobile phone and abandoned the place”, he told reporters.

Mr. Wiersky had spent hours looking for the lost tickets in his home located in Alpha, NJ., near the Pennsylvania border. He was very absolute that the tickets must have been misplaced here but anyhow he decided to ask a clerk at the store if anyone had seen the tickets.

The clerk asked him a few details about the tickets as someone had already returned the tickets to her. He replied to her that the tickets were bought for lottery drawing that night. He was fortunate enough to find his lost tickets.

He said “I was very thankful there was an honest person out there because I thought it was gone”, he said. I am the one who always spends $20 every week on quick-pick lottery tickets, and did not realize until two days later, as a snowstorm swirled outside.

He said a friend of his mother called to say she thought a mutual friend of theirs had hit the jackpot. Their mutual friend bought his tickets at the same store. Mr. Wiersky had been standing right in front of him. Mr. Wiersky asked him if he had won. The man said he had not won and then Mr. Wiersky began to check his own tickets and got surprised.

“I put the phone down, I put the ticket down, I sat there for a second- I said to my mother, ‘Hey, that just said I was the jackpot winner.’ “ he said. “ And she’s like, ‘what’s that mean?’ ”

“I just put the tickets back down, watched TV for a while and got dressed, and I said, ‘I have got to go find if it’s real’ ”, he said. Then he scanned his tickets at a nearby store which revealed that he was the winner. The lottery win could entirely topple his life as he had been unemployed for 15 years.

He plans to take his time looking for work. He plans to start a business or work part-time helping his friend who works as a handyman. He said he plans to take his winnings as a $162.5 million lump sum rather than in installments. His first move includes buying a new pickup truck and next will be listening to his lawyer, he said.

He finally thanked the unidentified good Samaritan who found his tickets on the store and decided to turn them in. He said he hoped to find the person and give him something which is going to be private.