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California Woman Accidentally Gives Winning Lottery Ticket to Homeless Man...Now She Wants It Back


Lightning doesn't strike twice without a catch.

Emily Leach of Mountain View, California, thanked her lucky stars in January when she won $1 million on a lottery ticket, which was desperately needed to payoff substantial medical debts. With the new revenue, she performed random acts of kindness, like offering $100 to a homeless man waiting behind her in line at the same liquor store where she bought the winning ticket.

Despite already hitting the jackpot, the past winner still plays, and was at the liquor store to pickup an armload of Scratchers cards. During the transaction with the homeless man, she accidentally handed over one of her cards. The San Jose Mercury reports that Leach's act of generosity turned out to be much grander than she originally anticipated:

"Just how generous became apparent Sunday. That's when Leach learned a lottery ticket purchased while she was in line had hit for $260,000. The still unidentified man she gave the $100 returned to the store Saturday to say he had the ticket, and according to Leach, to claim that her good luck had rubbed off on him.

There was just one problem: Leach insists she never intended to buy the lottery ticket for him, and she wants it back.

"That's my ticket," Leach said. "He knows it's my ticket. I feel like I'm going to come off as a huge, huge bitch if I say, 'You need to give me my ticket back.' "

The California Lottery Commission is investigating Leach's claim, but state officials tell ABC News that it looks like Leach gave the ticket away in security footage:

"Russ Lopez, spokesman for the California Lottery, told ABC News they investigate disputes with tickets, and their security and law enforcement division looking into this case.

'At this point we would not make a judgment as to who owns the ticket. The ticket has not been claimed yet. Once the ticket has been claimed then we can say a little bit more,' Lopez said.

However, he has seen part of the surveillance footage from the store and says it appears to show Leach giving away the tickets she bought to patrons in the store. They are trying to determine all the information before making a formal decision on who actually owns the ticket, he added."

Lopez went on to say that the odds any one person could have won the $1 million lottery last January were 1 in 1.2million, and the chances of winning on the scratch-off last Friday were a staggering 1 in 3.9million.

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