Guy Buys A Winning Lottery Ticket But Doesn't Claim The Money Right Away Because He Thought He Was Being Scammed


Des Moines Register- Richard Watson thought the call was a scam. Instead, it made him a millionaire. His bank called and said people claiming to be representatives of the Iowa Lottery were looking for him. The lottery officials thought the Belton, Mo., man might be the winner of an unclaimed $1-million Powerball prize from the Nov. 16 drawing. Watson, 58, repairs industrial injection molding machines for a living. He buys lottery tickets on the road. “I travel for work and I have a bundle of lottery tickets that I was planning on going through, but I hadn’t yet,” Watson said in a news release. At the Iowa Lottery official’s request, Watson dug out a Powerball ticket he bought at a Kum & Go store in Tipton. Watson’s ticket matched the first five numbers drawn, but not Powerball. It was good for $1 million and it had been sitting in his computer bag for more than six months.

Stop right there.  I can already hear people saying “What an idiot!  How can this guy not go claim the million dollars he won the minute he’s contacted by the lottery people?  He bought a ticket he should know.” And I get that.  I was set to react the same way and write the blog that way.  But then I suddenly realized where Richard Watson was coming from because I bet him and I similar in at least one way.  And no, it’s not that we’re both drop dead gorgeous guys from the Midwest who wear glasses.  It’s that we’re terrified of unknown phone calls.  Most people see an unknown number as a common, every day nuisance.  Not me* and Richard.  We have a borderline panic attack every time our cell phones start to ring and it’s an unknown number.  Do I pick it up?  Do I let it go to voice mail?  Do I head for the border and change my name?  I never know how to properly react.  Almost every conceivable scenario runs through my head.  And if I were to pick it up (which I never do) and they told me I won the lottery I would have the exact same reaction as Richard.  Get the fuck outta here.  There’s no way I’d be lucky enough to win the lottery.  However, I would be stupid enough to fall for scammers who told me I won the lottery unless I actively keep my guard up at all times.  But it all worked out for Richard.  Turns out he actually did win and now he’s a millionaire.  All’s well that ends well.  Except I’m still broke and terrified my phone is going to ring.

*This may or may not be because I’m constantly dodging debt collectors and people who think I should actually make my student loan payments instead of acting like they don’t exist.  What a buncha assholes.