Jerry Ritieni learned a valuable lesson about the importance of actually checking the numbers on your lottery tickets, instead of just stuffing them into the center console of your truck and forgetting about them. Because the thing about lottery tickets—and, ostensibly, the reason you buy them in the first place—is that occasionally, you win.
According to the Post, Ritieni, who owns a body shop on Long Island, bought $20 worth of lottery tickets on July 19. But rather than absently shoving them into his pockets where they belong, he instead absently shoved them into the console of his car, where they don't belong. See? Naturally he forgot about them, but then miraculously a month later he remembered them! It's fun to imagine he had literally zero thoughts in the intervening time.
Having successfully remembered the tickets, Ritieni went ahead and brought them to his office at Extreme Auto Body Repairs in Massapequa, and looked up the numbers online. That's when he realized that, despite the 1-in-47-million odds against him, he'd just hit the $2.9 million jackpot. Hopefully this will teach Jerry Ritieni, and all of us, not to leave lotto tickets crumpled in the cupholder to decompose under an extra large Icee ever again.
“I was completely shocked, I still am,” Ritieni told the tabloid. “My jaw dropped to the ground.”
He has yet to decide whether he'll take his payment in a lump sum, or enjoy receiving 26 annual payments. He knows only that he will use his serendipitous fortune to secure his kids' future.