Greenville store clerk saves man's winning lotto ticket

The lottery ticket machine that checks ticket prizes. (Dec. 2, 2014/FOX Carolina)

A Greenville County man said he feels extremely grateful after a store clerk saved his winning lotto ticket for him.

Al Hoening said he frequents the Raceway gas station on Woodruff Road, just across from the Magnolia Place shopping plaza. He said he usually gets gas there, but a few days ago he also went inside and bought a Mega Millions lotto ticket.

Hoening said the ticket reader, which tells you if your ticket contains the winning numbers, wasn't working, so he left the ticket with Parin Patel, the store manager.

“Usually they just win zero, or only a dollar, so I didn't think it was big deal to leave it,” said Hoening.

Patel said once the machine started working, he checked the ticket and saw it was a winner.

“I locked it up in the safe right away, but I had no way to let him know and I wasn't sure if he would ever come back in,” said Patel.

A couple of days later, Hoening, who said he completely forgot all about the ticket, returned to the Raceway. This time he was in for the shock of a lifetime.

“My initial reaction was shock. I mean I've never won anything in my life. And I looked at him and said, you're still not kidding are you? And he said no I'm not kidding,” said Hoening.

The ticket was worth $5,000. Asked what he was going to do with the money, Hoening said he'll be using it to help pay for his wife's nursing home expenses.

“I'm just so impressed by this man's honesty and integrity. Raceway needs to hear about this man and the good deed he did,” said Hoening.

Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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