Go ahead and think about the best thing that’s ever happened to you in a grocery store. Did you pick out a perfectly ripe avocado? Did you snag the last turkey a day before Thanksgiving? Did your extreme couponing earn you a lifetime supply of dish soap for, like, $6?
Whatever it was, it just got beat—by a man who went into a store looking for mushrooms, and walked out with $5 million instead.
PEOPLE reports that John Lewis of Saranac Lake, NY stopped by his local grocery store before a work shift to pick up mushrooms for a tomato sauce he was planning to make (a crucial ingredient in his dad’s two-day recipe). As he left the store he decided, on a whim, to use his $10 in change on a lottery vending machine where he purchased a Set-For-Life scratch off ticket. And, well, Lewis is now indeed set for life.
Lewis won the game’s $5 million jackpot and opted for the lifetime installment option, ensuring he’ll receive $172,068 every year for as long as he lives. As a result he stands a chance to make more than the $5 million lump sum should he live more than 30 years, though if something should happen to him before then his estate is still guaranteed $5 million.
What’s really shocking about this situation is that not only would Lewis not have purchased the ticket had he not been buying mushrooms, but the fact that he never even plays the lottery to begin with. He told New York Lottery Officials, “I never put money in those things…what possessed me to be in that store at that time with just the right amount of money in my hand for that machine I will never know. I have been asking myself that question over and over for days. In the end though, I’m just glad it was me.”
With his winnings, the semi-retired restaurant worker left his job as a bartender and told the local news he has plans to pay off a family member’s medical bills and to purchase some property and possibly a new truck. (He also bought a ski pass.)
If he decides he needs any more mushrooms in the future, his $5 million jackpot would cover more than 700,000 pounds of them—though we suppose he could also just hire a personal chef to make the tomato sauce for him instead.
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