Man Finds $24 Million Lottery Ticket In An Old Shirt Just 2 Days Before It Expired

October 14, 2017

jimmie smith lottery

A 68-year-old New Jersey man discovered he won a $24 million New York lottery jackpot just two days before the ticket expired after seeing a story on the evening news about how time was running out for the winner to claim the prize.

Smith said he went to his closet where an old, favorite shirt with a pocket full of unchecked tickets was hung. Remarkably, the retired security guard found the winning ticket he had just seen discussed on the news.

"I stood there for a minute thinking, 'Do I see what I think I see?'" Smith told "I had to stick my head out the window and breathe some fresh air. I was in serious doubt. I really had to convince myself this was real."

Smith told lottery officials he's been buying tickets in New Jersey and New York since the 1960s, but has never been in a rush to see if they're winners.

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

A father of two and grandfather of 12, Smith said he plans to have an "all-family discussion" once things settle down.

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