A Winning Michigan Lottery Ticket Almost Wound Up In The Trash

Written By Kim Yuhl on August 20, 2018Last Updated on March 11, 2022

One of the most famous quotes associated with the lottery is, “You can’t win if you don’t play.” However, another quote, “You can’t win if you don’t check your ticket,” is just as important to remember.

A Michigan woman nearly missed out on collecting a $50,000 win from a Powerball ticket with four correct numbers.

After several attempts to check her ticket using a malfunctioning terminal, Delaine Passucci almost trashed her ticket. She bought the ticket at a Kroger in Pinckney and decided to give it one last try.

“I was just about to toss it in the garbage when I decided to have the clerk scan it for me,” Passucci said to Inside Edition. “When she told me I’d have to go to the lottery office to claim my prize, I realized I’d won too much for the self-scanner to give me a prize amount.”

Winning lottery tickets

Search online for “throw away lottery tickets” and the results will return a surprisingly large number stories. They recount lottery players that almost or actually threw away a winning ticket.

For example, earlier this year a North Carolina woman almost threw away a scratch-off worth $250,000. Fortunately like Pascucci, she checked it one more time.

The most intriguing item on Google’s search result list is a question a reader posted on Quora:

“I have been collecting thrown away lottery tickets out of dustbins. Do I have any chance to discover a winning ticket?”

Some people spend their time searching trash cans and dumpsters for tossed lottery tickets in the hopes that someone has thrown away a winner. The only thing worse than throwing away a winning ticket is realizing someone else is enjoying your windfall.

The moral of the story is not just to avoid throwing away a winning ticket, but throwing away any ticket.

There’s a very easy step to avoid throwing away a potential winner. Simply take the ticket to a clerk the next time you pop into a Michigan Lottery retailer.

The clerk will scan and let you know definitively if the ticket is a winner. Once you get the official answer to toss, then have at it.

Michigan Lottery is making it easier to check tickets

It’s unfortunate the machine kept malfunctioning when Passucci tried to check her ticket. Thanks to a recent contract extension between the Michigan Lottery and IGT Global Solutions, new terminals are arriving soon.

Currently making their way into retailers, WinCheck™ ticket checkers allow players to quickly check their tickets. Additionally, 2,100 GameTouch™ self-service, touch-screen lottery machines are also on their way.

The Michigan Lottery is seen as one of the most successful state lotteries in the US and continues to set revenue records year after year. The current fiscal year ends Sept. 30, 2018. Expect the most recent revenue reports to arrive soon after.

The new contract extension and the focus on more player-friendly terminals and tools are designed to keep this record-breaking streak alive.

It’s also designed to help players claim the winnings that are rightfully theirs – provided they hold onto the ticket long enough to realize its a winner.

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Kim Yuhl

Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at kimyuhl.com.

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