(NEXSTAR) – An Iowa man is crediting a lottery ticket printing snafu with his recent jackpot win.
Josh Buster, of West Burlington, became the state’s second big lottery winner in 2022 after he won the $1 million Mega Millions prize.
But Buster believes the windfall came thanks to a local convenience clerk’s mistake Friday night when he bought the tickets, according to a news release from the Iowa Lottery.
Buster, 40, said he asked for five easy-pick plays that are usually printed from the lottery terminal on one ticket – however, the clerk printed just one set of numbers. When he realized what happened, he asked Buster if he could print the four other sets of numbers on a separate ticket.
“I feel like that changed the numbers that I would have gotten if he had put them all on one instead of making that mistake,” Buster said.
Buster, who works as a prep chef at a local restaurant, said he realized early Saturday morning that his life had changed.
“I got up to go to work early in the morning. I opened up the lottery app and scanned my tickets,” he recalled. “I always keep my tickets in the console of my car. And I scanned it in the car and freaked out and ran back inside.”
Buster said the experience left him stunned.
“I don’t usually have good luck, so I thought it was a mistake and there was going to be an error,” he said. “So I Googled the lottery numbers to make sure I had the right ones, and I did! And then the rest of the day, I’m just waiting to wake up from a dream.”
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Mary Neubauer, vice president of external relations for the Iowa Lottery, told The Hawk Eye that lottery players have a roughly 1-in-12.6 million shot at hitting a five-number Mega Millions match. For Powerball, the odds are about 1 in 11.7 million.
Nexstar reached out to Neubauer Tuesday to verify Buster’s claim that the clerk’s “mistake” played a role in his jackpot win.
Buster’s lucky numbers – 4-17-20-46-64 and Mega Ball 23 – made him the second person in 2022 to win a jackpot of at least $1 million. He says his lucky “mistake” ticket will go to paying off his car and his mother’s mortgage, with the rest going into a retirement fund.
“It will take away a lot of my stress in my life — no more of the financial worries,” he said.