Man tracks down $1 million lottery winner, returns ticket

Photo from NBC Bay Area Photo from NBC Bay Area

SALINA, Kan. (WAND) – A convenience store owner went out of his way to return a winning lottery ticket to a customer.

Store clerk Andy Patel noticed a lottery ticket accidentally left on the counter in his Salina, Kan., Pit Stop store, after a customer came in to check three tickets. He was shocked to discover the ticket was worth a $1 million prize amount.

Patel called up Kal Patel, whose parents own the store. Kal made the decision to track the customer down after recognizing who the longtime customer was based on a description, The Salina Journal reports. He went to their neighborhood twice in his search before finding the lucky winner as he was getting ready to drive away with his brother.

“I showed them the ticket and told them they were winners,” he said. “They started shaking. They couldn’t believe it.”

Kal Patel says he made the right decision, even though friends told him he should have kept the money. He says the guilt of keeping it would have been tough to live with.

A report from KWCH says Patel took a $1,200 check from Wichita law firm DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers, which wanted to thank him for his good deed.

Patel says other people told him his actions “restored their faith in humanity”.

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