Wade Haskett had wanted a new roof and new hardwood floors for his home -- little did he know that he had carried the necessary funds around in his wallet for weeks, the Henderson Times-News reports.
According to the paper, Haskett, of Waynesville, N.C, hadn't bothered to check a Carolina 5 lottery ticket he purchased Nov. 6 until Sunday, when his wife saw a news report that one ticket from a nearby store remained unclaimed. Haskett, a part-time detention officer for the Haywood County Sheriff’s Department, then realized his good fortune: He was $118,182 richer ($80,364 after taxes).
“I know it is not a big amount, but it is more than I had,” Haskett said in a release from the North Carolina Education Lottery.
A lottery spokesman, Chris Bushnell, told The Huffington Post that a delayed claim wasn't that unusual. "A lot of times people set the ticket down on the counter and don't check it right away," he said.
The San Antonio Express-News reported a similar case in South Bexar County, Texas, in November. Stanley Smith bought a quick-pick Lotto Texas ticket and kept it in his car for a day before a store clerk suggested he check. Boom: Smith had won $32 million.
Haskett, for his part, plans to use the jackpot for home improvements like a new roof and floors, plus travel, the Associated Press reports.