BONO, Ark. — An Arkansas couple is $1 million richer, thanks to a husband’s forgetfulness and a convenience store clerk’s confusion.
On Tuesday, Carrie Middlebrook, of Bono, went to a Kwik Stop to pick up an item her husband forgot to buy earlier, KAIT-TV reported.
While paying for the item, Middlebrook asked the clerk for a $2 scratch-off ticket, along with a pair of $10 tickets and a 5-Buck Bundle. However, the cashier misunderstood and instead pulled a $20 $1 Million Spectacular ticket from the dispenser, according to an Arkansas Scholarship Lottery news release.
Middlebrook went to her car and scratched the ticket. When she saw the “1″ under her winning number, Middleton said she thought she had won $100, lottery officials said. It was only after she saw the “M” that she realized she had won $1,000,000.
According to Middlebrook, the three-mile drive home “seemed like 300.” She called her husband and told her to come outside, lottery officials said.
“When I opened Carrie’s car door, she was crying and shaking. I thought she had hit a deer!” Mike Middlebrook told lottery officials. “I looked at the ticket and couldn’t believe it.”
The Middlebrooks, who have been married for 20 years and work in Jonesboro, drove to Little Rock on Friday to collect their winnings, KAIT reported. They plan to pay off their house and vehicles and put a big part of the prize money into savings for their retirement, the television station reported.
The convenience store will receive a 1% commission of $10,000 for selling the winning ticket, lottery officials said.
The Middlebrooks are the third players this month to claim $1 million prizes from the Arkansas lottery, officials said.
Meanwhile, tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot has topped the $1 billion mark, with a cash value of $739.6 million. If someone matches all the numbers tonight, it would be the second-largest jackpot in the promotion’s history and the third-largest in U.S. lottery history. The largest jackpots were a $1.586 billion Powerball ticket in January 2016 and a $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot in October 2018.