$24 million lottery victor claims prize in the nick of time

Katrina Barker
October 15, 2017

The New York Lottery is reporting that Jimmie Smith, 68, has claimed his prize that was due to expire in 48 hours.

It is, undoubtedly, life-changing and overwhelming to realize you just won millions thanks to a ticket you forgot you purchased.

The lucky lottery ticket victor is Jimmie Smith from East Orange, New Jersey.

The grandfather told lottery officials he had been buying tickets in NY and New Jersey for the last fifty years, but was never in a rush to check them.

Smith said he's been buying tickets in New York City and in his home state since the 1960s, but has never been in a rush to check any of them.

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

The retired security officer saw a segment on the news reminding New Yorkers to check their tickets before they lost the winning money, which prompted Smith to rifle through the accumulated pile in his jacket pocket hanging up in his closet.

The highest ever single victor of the New York Lottery was Harold Diamond, who collected $326 million in 2014.

"We are thrilled that this lucky victor was able to locate this life-changing ticket", Dean, of the gaming commission, said. I was in serious doubt.

Smith had picked the numbers 05 - 12 - 22- 25 - 35 for the May 25, 2016 drawing, but hadn't checked whether he had won.

The grandfather-of-12 has chosen to receive his payments over the next 26 years.

When the numbers matched up, he "stood there for a minute thinking, 'Do I see what I think I see?'" "I really had to convince myself this was real".

He said after things settle down, he plans to have an "all-family discussion" about what to do with the windfall.

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