A good samaritan found a winning lottery ticket on a shop counter and turned it in. Now, a mystery ensues, and the Spanish lottery commission is on the hunt to uncover the person who so carelessly misplaced £3.95 million.
A Tiny Scrap of Paper
At Carrefour shopping center in La Coruña, a small town in northern Spain, a person purchased a lottery ticket: 10, 17, 24, 37, 40 and 43. That person placed the ticket aside but forgot to pick up that tiny scrap of paper when he left. Another customer, Manuel Reija González, found the misplaced ticket and turned it into the local lottery administration. Shortly after the numbers were drawn, it became clear that the careless customer had left behind a lotto ticket worth nearly £4 million.
The Mystery Ticket Buyer
The lottery administration doesn’t know who purchased the ticket. It’s a mystery. There is, however, a protocol for such occasions, and the administration is employing it to reveal clues that it hopes will eventually lead them to the right person. The detective work started with the shop where the lottery ticket was purchased.
The clerk who sold the ticket recognized the customer but was unable to identify him by name. What the clerk did know was that the mystery customer was an avid lottery fan and, on the night before a drawing, would make the rounds to various shops, purchasing a single ticket at each one. Therefore, it’s entirely possible that the buyer never knew that he was a short a ticket.
Since the clerk was able to recognize the mystery man to some degree, the initial hope was the he would return to that shop on lottery night. That hasn’t happened, however, so the hunt continues. An interesting note about González, the man who found the ticket, is that his family has a long history of working for the lottery commission, which is why he knew exactly what to do when he found the ticket.
A Happy Ending?
Carlos Negreira, the mayor of La Coruña, joked that this was the first time ever that they hunted for a millionaire because they wanted to give him money. What happens when they find the mystery man? Everyone hopes that the process is smooth and the story ends happily, but it may not be that easy. In fact, in 2001, a British couple lost out on £3 million after a similar incident.