Iowa man says ‘mistake’ led to $1 million lottery jackpot

(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 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.”

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.

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Matt Lucas

Writer by day and an aspiring Artist by night. Creative thinking is what I'm all about. Lottos are one of my passions and I'm happy to be contributing to Lottery Papa News

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