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Accountant Finds $47 Million!

Last Updated: Thursday 7th December 2006, 01:22 am

An accountant from Lakeville, Minnesota, walked around for a whole month without realising that his wallet contained a Powerball lottery ticket worth over $47 million. Michael Hawes had purchased a ticket covering eight draws from November 1, and his numbers came up in the very first draw - but it wasn't until Monday 4 December that he realised this.

Michael is engaged to Sarah and has two sons - Hunter, aged 18, is from a previous relationship and Lucky, aged 8 months, was born six weeks early. It's not hard to see how a father with a young family to take care of might forget to check his numbers after every draw, but to go a whole month without discovering a win of such massive proportions is a lot more unusual.

The accountant only found out about his win when he returned to the store where he purchased the ticket to buy a soda. Whilst he was there he decided to get another Powerball ticket and he asked the store clerk to scan his old tickets just in case he'd landed a win. When the clerk scanned one ticket, the lottery machine displayed a message saying that the ticket needed to be validated at Powerball headquarters. Out of curiosity, the clerk then checked the ticket against the winning numbers for November 1 and said, "Those are your numbers!"

Michael took his ticket from the clerk, left his shopping cart where it was and exited the store shaking. The next day he telephoned his office and told them he was taking the day off because he "had something to attend to." That something was a journey to the Powerball headquarters in Roseville, where his ticket was validated as one of two which shared the $94.1 million jackpot.

The staggering news is still sinking in for Michael, and he hasn't yet decided whether to take $47 million as an annuity over 29 years or as an immediate but smaller lump sum of $22.1 million before taxes. He has until February 5 of 2007 to make that choice. In the meantime, the store which sold the winning Powerball ticket receives a bonus of $50,000.

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