Imagine realising you’ve won millions on the lottery. Imagine the things you can do. Imagine the things you could buy.
And now imagine realising you threw your ticket in the bin. A nightmare.
And unfortunately, an all too real one for Janet Valenti, 77, from New York.
Janet has selected the numbers: 2, 3, 6, 43, 46 and 52 – and they were the winning ones, bagging a jackpot of $12 million (£10 million).
But she couldn’t claim that prize.
Janet had put the winning ticket with other lottery tickets on a table at the end of her sofa. And when she and her two kids were getting ready for a weekend away, she had a little tidy up in the house.
So, assuming the ticket was already checked for winning numbers and was an old one, she threw it in the rubbish with the others.
When she returned from her days away upstate, she said a friend told her someone from the area had hit for the winning $12 million Lotto prize.
And Janet checked the winning numbers in the paper, realising they were the exact same ones she always played.
She’d used them on her winning ticket because each number had meaning to her.
But there was one big problem.
Janet told Staten Island Advance: “My next-door neighbour, who has never in her life, the whole time I lived there, ever put my garbage out for collection, she did.”
The rubbish bag had been collected and ‘that was the end of it’.
The mum even contacted lawyers but was told nothing could be done to claim the prize without her winning ticket.
She said they also wouldn’t attempt to get the tape from the lottery machine where she bought the ticket, which Janet said would have showed the other numbers on her Lotto ticket.
“It didn’t make a difference,” she said. “There was nothing I could do.”
Janet said she was ‘sick for a long time over it’ as she missed out on bagging the millions of dollars.
The mum still plays the lottery today although the most she gets is ‘a free play or a couple of dollars’.
She said of missing out on the jackpot: “Such is life. What are you going to do?”Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Janet Schick-Valenti / Getty Stock Image