Tennessee Man Loses, Then Finds Missing $1 Million Lottery Ticket In Parking Lot

Posted on March 25, 2021

March is made for four leaf clovers and million dollar winnings in Tennessee.

One Middle Tennessee man had Lady Luck on his side when he lost his winning lottery ticket then found it again.

Winning then losing a $1 million Tennessee Lottery ticket

One day in mid-March, Sparta resident Nick Slatten finished up his work in Smithville laying tile. He then stopped into Village Market to purchase a drink along with a Tennessee Cash ticket.

That Thursday, Slatten checked the latest Tennessee Cash drawing results. Initially, he realized he had matched two numbers. But upon further inspection, he had matched them all. His ticket was worth more than $1 million.

“I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t express it. It was something else.”

The first thing Slatten did was rush to his fiancée Michelle’s work to tell her the good news. Then, Slatten carried on about his day running errands.

Among those errands was a trip to O’Reilly’s to pick up a car part with his brother. Then, he headed for lunch.

It wasn’t until about an hour later that Slatten realized his ticket was nowhere to be found.

“I couldn’t find it anywhere.”

Retraced steps pay millions

Slatten spent the next hour hastily retracing his steps. As a last resort, he pulled back into the O’Reilly’s parking lot. That’s when he saw his winning ticket lying on the ground, right below the driver’s side door of another vehicle. Slatten couldn’t believe his eyes.

“It’s a million-dollar ticket, and someone stepped right over it.”

That day was a particularly windy one. In the time it took Slatten to retrace his steps, his lost ticket could have easily blown off.

Furthermore, anyone walking by could have picked up and claimed the ticket since it wasn’t signed. (A lost or stolen ticket is subject to being cashed in by anyone that finds it. The only thing to prevent that is by a player signing a winning ticket.)

Luckily, Slatten’s backtracking led him right to his missing million.

As far as their plan for the future goes, Slatten and his fiancée plan to continue working. First, they’ll use the winnings to purchase a new home and new vehicles, then they’ll use the rest for investments.

This time around though, they’ll be living life with “not a whole lot of worries”.

March is lucky for Tennessee lottery players

Since the Tennessee Lottery began back in January of 2004, 310 tickets of $1 million or more have been sold.

That amounts to around one or two tickets sold per month.

Recently, winning tickets have practically been flying off the shelves.

In March alone, five players claimed winning Tennessee Lottery tickets worth at least $1 million.

Most of them haven’t needed a scavenger hunt to be cashed in.

Photo by Dreamstime
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Alec Cunningham

As a college athlete, Alec Cunningham played Division II golf at Tusculum University. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Professional Writing. She then returned to her love of written word in 2000 after working in the music industry as a concert promoter, tour manager and artist developer. As a journalist, she's covered a variety of topics and currently specializes in Tennessee online sports betting and Virginia casino news. She served as a panelist at this year's All American Sports Betting Summit, discussing the ever-evolving role of women in the gambling industry.

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