Seattle Couple Won $1 Million But Didn't Know It For 3 Months

| by Lisa Fogarty
article imagearticle image

A couple from Seattle, Washington, had no idea they had won $1 million in the Powerball lottery — and they have a thief to thank for the discovery.

The man and woman, who have asked not to be identified, purchased a Powerball lotto ticket on Feb. 10 at Iman's Deli-Market in Ballard after learning the jackpot had reached $350 million, but they forgot to check their numbers and left the ticket in their car, beneath a pair of sunglasses, reports Three months passed — and then a thief broke into their car and everything changed.

"Someone broke into our car a few weeks ago and stole a pair of sunglasses," the couple said in a press statement. "The stolen sunglasses were actually sitting atop the winning ticket. What a close call!"

The couple recovered their lotto ticket and went online to check the winning numbers on May 14, which was when they discovered they had won $1 million in a lower-tier drawing, reports the Seattle Times. 

"Well, we already popped a bottle of champagne! We're also planning a trip to Paris and Iceland for this year. Other than that, I think we'll just take care of our house," the couple's press release said. 

The couple's story isn't wholly unusual. In 2013, more than 300 lottery prizes worth $1 million or more went unclaimed because those who purchased tickets didn't check their numbers, reports CNN Money. Developer Brett Jacobson even developed an app called Lotto Lotto to help alert lotto players if they have winning numbers. 

Sources:, Seattle Times, CNN Money, Lotto Lotto

Photo Credit:, Claire P/Flickr