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Tennessee man loses $1.2M lottery ticket, but finds it hours later in parking lot

Lottery Ticket
Posted at 1:22 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 13:31:39-04

A Tennessee man got lucky twice earlier this month when he hit a $1.2 million lottery jackpot, misplaced the winning ticket and then miraculously found it lying a local parking lot several hours later.

Nick Slatten of Sparta, Tennessee — located about an hour and a half east of Nashville — bought a “Tennessee Cash” lottery ticket on his way home from work on March 10. The next morning, he checked the lottery’s mobile app was “stunned” to see that he had matched every number in the drawing.

“I can’t express it. It was something else,” Slatten told the Tennessee Lottery.

He rushed home to tell his fiancée and then went about his day — stopping for lunch and running errands at a local O’Reilly Auto Parts store.

But later, Slatten came to a sickening realization: He had lost the ticket, and potentially, the $1.2 million that would come with it.

“I couldn’t find it anywhere,” he said.

He went back and re-traced his steps, which took him back to the auto parts store — and there it was, laying on the ground just below another car’s driver side door.

“It’s a million-dollar ticket, and someone stepped right over it,” Slatten said.

Slatten told the Tennessee Lottery that he plans to buy a house and a vehicle with his prize and invest the rest. He hopes he and his fiancée can live with “not a whole lot of worries.”

The Tennessee Lottery noted that once a drawing is completed, anyone in possession of a winning ticket can claim the prize. They encourage lotto players to sign the back of their tickets immediately upon purchase to "to help prevent someone else from cashing it, in the event that it is lost or stolen."