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Tennessee man loses $1 million lottery ticket — but finds it again in parking lot

Tennessee man loses $1 million lottery ticket — but finds it again in parking lot

 A Tennessee man recently won over $1 million in the Tennessee Lottery, but almost lost out on the cash prize after briefly losing the lottery ticket.

Nick Slatten of Sparta, about 80 miles north of Chattanooga, bought the ticket and a drink at a grocery store after he finished a day of laying tile on March 10. The following morning, Slatten said he checked the results and discovered the ticket was worth more than $1 million dollars.

“I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it,” Slatten said in a statement. “I can’t express it. It was something else.”

Slatten said he then rushed to his fiancée Michelle’s work and told her about the winnings. After sharing the news, Slatten said he continued to run errands, including taking his brother to go shopping at an auto parts store.

Nick Slatten won the lottery on March 11, 2021, in Sparta, Tenn.
Nick Slatten won the lottery on March 11, 2021, in Sparta, Tenn.Tennessee Education Lottery

However, about an hour later, Slatten said he realized that he had lost the ticket, explaining he “couldn’t find it anywhere.”

Tennessee Lottery officials said they encourage players to sign the ticket when they purchase it "to help prevent someone else from cashing it, in the event that it is lost or stolen."

Slatten said he retraced his steps and found the ticket lying on the ground in the auto parts parking lot, near the driver’s side door of another vehicle.

“It’s a million-dollar ticket, and someone stepped right over it,” Slatten said.

Slatten’s ticket is just one of five tickets worth $1 million or more sold in Tennessee this month, Tennessee Lottery officials said.

Slatten said he and his fiancée will continue to work, but plan to buy a new house, car and invest. But added that he hopes to live a life with “not a whole lot of worries.”

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