NEW YORK (MainStreet) The lottery: supreme exercise in chance. A contest of blind luck, in which all are equally disadvantaged by the force of overwhelming probability.
There is, however, one element of skill involved: recognizing that you have purchased and are holding a winning ticket, in order to claim your prize.
And at this, a Pennsylvania man has failed most miserably.
The York Daily Record reports that an unnamed local who played the same numbers every day 4-3-4-1-8 threw away 25 tickets worth $50,000 each, presumably having misread the winning numbers when he checked them after the drawing.
That's a total of $1.25 million in the garbage.
The man bought the winning tickets last year at Zhou Grocery, where he spent around $100 a day playing the lotto. Last February the Pennsylvania Lottery announced in in a press release that time was running out for the holder of the tickets to redeem them: "Check the drawer by the sink, under the couch and in the glove box... Twenty-five unclaimed Quinto tickets for the March 13, 2013, evening drawing will expire on Thursday, March 13, 2014, if not claimed."
But it wasn't forgetfulness that came between the winner and his winnings. Some other species of absentmindedness must have prevented him from recognizing the very numbers he had put money on every day for who knows how long numbers that probably carried some kind of personal meaning, or at least seemed especially lucky. The money will now remain in the lottery's coffers.
"He was mad," Zhou Grocery worker Wendy Hinton told the newspaper, about the moment the man realized what he'd done. "He was so mad he played $400 that day."
We've heard the lottery called a "stupidity tax" before, but this is ridiculous!
--Written by Eamon Murphy for MainStreet