May 28th 2009 By Jeremy Taylor
A woman in Australia has just claimed a $10 million lottery jackpot. Of course, she actually won last July, but the ticket sat in her sock drawer for 10 months
before she realized she had the big winner. If she had waited two months longer, the unclaimed jackpot, which had made headlines in Western Australia for some time, would have been forfeited.
-- After discovering in his junk drawer a $46 million winning lottery ticket
that expired in two days, Melvin Mulligan inexplicably mailed the ticket to the New Jersey state lottery offices
instead of making the short drive over himself. Although his letter arrived a day after the one-year claim limit had passed, lottery officials still awarded him the prize based on a fortunate postmark.
-- Englishman Derek Landner bought two tickets with the same number
, not because that strategy makes any sense, but because he had forgotten buying the first ticket. When the digits he always played came up, his second ticket won him almost a million extra dollars in a five-way prize split
. Although it took the forgetful 59-year-old a week to remember.
-- A Florida woman Googled her husband's name
, and found out that he had been hiding his recent $10.2 million state lottery win
. Proving you can stumble into lottery riches without buying a ticket.
-- Degli Martinez won the biggest lotto prize in New York state history
and, unbelievably, threw out the $65 million winning ticket
. Martinez did still have the jackpot receipt he got from the store that sold him the winner, but it took more than a year and a police investigation before this story had a happy ending.
Of course, big-money lottery winners have a pretty well-documented history
of having their lives completely fall apart, so maybe it's best to leave those long-forgotten lottery tickets in your sock drawer.