Woman throws lottery ticket away before realizing she won

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 9:55 PM HST
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DILLWYN, Va. (Gray News) - A Virginia woman had to root around in the trash to find her winning lottery ticket after she threw it away.

Mary Elliott, 67, says she panicked when she realized she had picked all five winning numbers in the Virginia Lottery’s Cash 5 with EZ Match game. She had thrown out her ticket.

But she dove into the trash bin and, luckily, found it – coffee stains and all.

The barcode on the winning ticket was so stained it couldn’t be scanned, but lottery officials...
The barcode on the winning ticket was so stained it couldn’t be scanned, but lottery officials honored the $110,000 winnings.(Source: Virginia Lottery)

In fact, the barcode was so stained it couldn’t be scanned, but lottery officials honored the winnings. The ticket was worth $110,000.

“When I saw I’d won, I couldn’t stop shaking to save my life!” Elliott told the Virginia Lottery.

The retired healthcare worker says she chose the winning numbers based on relatives’ birthdays, including that of her son who died a few years ago, The Washington Post reports.

Mary Elliott, a 67-year-old retired healthcare worker, won $110,000 in the Virginia Lottery....
Mary Elliott, a 67-year-old retired healthcare worker, won $110,000 in the Virginia Lottery. Before realizing she won, she threw the ticket away and had to dig it out of the trash.(Source: Virginia Lottery)

She told the Post that her win wasn’t due to luck but instead something bigger than her.

“I just don’t think people are just lucky,” she said. “I think that if God’s got something for you, he’s going to see that you get it.”

Elliott hasn’t decided how to spend her winnings. She says she’s waiting for divine inspiration.

Copyright 2022 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.