New Jersey grandpa finds $24 million winning lotto ticket in old - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New Jersey grandpa finds $24 million winning lotto ticket in old shirt

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Photo: New York Lottery Photo: New York Lottery
ESSEX COUNTY, NJ -

On May 25, 2016, a 68-year-old grandfather of 12 from East Orange, New Jersey, won $24.1 million from the New York Lottery, but had no idea.

When local news started to report on the unclaimed jackpot, Jimmie Smith decided to check an old shirt pocket where he accumulated unchecked tickets, according to the Park Slope Patch.

“I ended up with a stack - a pile of tickets - including the one they were talking about on the news,” Smith said. “I stood there for a minute thinking, ‘Do I see what I think I see?’ I had to stick my head out the window and breathe in some fresh air. I was in serious doubt. I really had to convince myself this was real.”

Smith took a little extra time to make his way to Manhattan to claim the ticket. Then he decided to get his millions in a laddered payout over the next 26 years.

Smith said after things settle down, he plans to have an "all-family discussion" about what to do with the jackpot, lottery officials said.

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