Vietnam Vet Lottery: Man In Need of Kidney Accidentally Wins $14.3 Million

 @julia_greenberg
on January 24 2012 10:36 AM
Lottery Prize
A Vietnam veteran in need of a kidney transplant unknowingly won $14.3 million in a Megabucks lottery in Madison, Wis. For three days after the Jan. 14 drawing, the winning ticket sat on a table in Napolean Elvord's home unbeknownst to the Vietnam vet. Reuters

A Vietnam veteran in need of a kidney transplant unknowingly won $14.3 million in a Megabucks lottery in Madison, Wis. For three days after the Jan. 14 drawing, the winning ticket sat on a table in Napolean Elvord's home unbeknownst to the Vietnam vet.  

A regular at the Madison Mobil gas station, Elvord was asked by the clerks at the store if he held the winning ticket for three days after the winning numbers were released. Elvord, convinced he had purchased his normal Powerball ticket, said it was not him.

However, as the days passed, no one came forward in Wis. with the winning ticket. For three days after the Jan. 14 drawing Madison residents wondered who the lucky Megabucks winner might be.

When the store manager, Corky Wunderlin, asked Elvord if he held the winning ticket, the semi-retired construction worker reconsidered the $1 ticket sitting on a table in his home. He realized when he took the ticket to the Wisconsin Lottery office that he had in fact won the $14.3 million Megabucks jackpot after accidentally playing the wrong game.

It's still going through my head, Elvord told the Wisconsin State Journal.

Elvord surprised lottery officials when he came to check if he had won the grand prize. Lottery director, Michael Edmonds, told the Journal that most people who come to claim the prize already know if they have the winning ticket.

The first thing they asked me was, 'Did you make up the ticket?' Elvord told the Journal.

Elvord who frequents the Mobil station many times daily to buy coffee and lottery tickets says he believes he let someone go before him the day he purchased the winning ticket. According to MSNBC, the numbers on the ticket - 17, 26, 27, 28, 37 and 42 - were computer-generated.

I think it was a mistake, he told the Journal. Because I was trying to play the Powerball.

He decided to take the $10.2 million lump sum payment, giving him $6.87 million after taxes, instead of waiting to receive the $14.3 million over a number of years in smaller payments.

Elvord, who is in his late 50s, told the Wisconsin State Journal that his first priority is taking care of his health insurance. He is in need of a kidney transplant and has been receiving dialysis for five years.

He also told the Journal he hopes to return to his native Texas for the warmer client. 

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