June 6 (UPI) — Workers at a Kansas convenience store are being praised for tracking down the rightful owners of a $1 million lottery ticket left at the store.
Kal Patel, whose parents own the Pit Stop store in Salina, said clerk Andy Patel called him March 18 after a customer who came in to check their lottery tickets accidentally left with one of the tickets unchecked — and it turned out to be a $1 million winner.
Patel, who is not related to Andy, said he decided to drive around the neighborhood to see if he could find the ticket’s owner, who is a regular customer.
“I knew it was a longtime customer who had left it here,” he told the Salina Journal. “They didn’t know they had the winning ticket, so they never would have known if I hadn’t found them. But then you’d have to live through the guilt of that all your life.”
“I went into the neighborhood where I knew he lived, but I couldn’t find him,” he said. “Their cars weren’t outside or anything, and I couldn’t find their house, exactly which one it was.”
Patel said he returned to the store in the hope that the customer would come back and he decided to take a second drive later in the day and spotted the customer driving with his brother.
“I showed them the ticket and told them they were winners,” he said. “They started shaking. They couldn’t believe it.”
Patel and the customer returned to the store, where the ticket was returned to its rightful owner.
“I felt really good. I believe in good karma, bad karma. That was one of the instances of good karma where good karma would come around at some point later in life,” he told KWCH-TV.
Patel was presented with a $1,200 “Helping Hands” reward from DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers for his honesty.
“Thank you so much DeVaughn James and everyone else at the firm. This means a lot. We’ll continue what we’re doing here. Thank you so much,” he said.