*A Tennessee man recently won over $1 million in the state Lottery and nearly missed out on claiming the prize when he briefly lost his lottery ticket.
Nick Slatten of Sparta bought the ticket on March 10. The following morning, he checked the results and was “stunned” to discover he had the winning ticket, worth$1,178,746.
“I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it,” Slatten said in a statement. “I can’t express it. It was something else.”
Slatten first informed his fiancée Michelle of the good news and then continued to run errands, including grabbing a bite to eat for lunch and taking his brother to the auto parts store. About an hour later, Slatten realized he no longer had the ticket.
“I couldn’t find it anywhere,” he recalled, noting that his ticket was also unsigned.
Tennessee Lottery officials encourage players to sign a ticket when they buy it “to help prevent someone else from cashing it, in the event that it is lost or stolen.” Anyone can cash in an unsigned ticket.
Slatten retraced his steps and returned to O’Reilly Auto Parts, where he had taken his brother. He was relieved when he found the winning ticket on the ground next to another vehicle.
“It’s a million-dollar ticket, and someone stepped right over it,” Slatten recalled.
Slatten told lottery officials that he and his fiancée plan to continue working their day jobs and live life without “a whole lot of worries.”