Woman Almost Misses out on $3M Reward Due to Spam Mail

Laura Spears turned out to be one of the luckiest women in Michigan. Then again, she almost turned out to be one of the unluckiest women, too. The Detroit area woman almost missed out on a $3 lottery prize payout that had been mistakenly sent to her junk email – a legitimate award lumped together with all the fake promises of the distant Nigerian princes.

Nigerian Prince or Genuine Turn of Good Fortune 

However, this was not a ploy and Spears did win a hefty check from a multi-state lottery game. The woman played on New Year’s Eve and five of her numbers matched. Then she added the side bet multiplier, which led to the triple payout. 

Spears was none the wiser about the developments, though, until she stumbled upon it in her junk box. Suspicious at first, she decided to verify with her lottery account and logged in on the website to discover that she had really won $3 million. 

Spears would not miss out on the life-changing seven-figure thanks to this draw and good internet habits. Instead, the 55-year-old woman will now be retiring and sharing her good fortune with the rest of her family. 

But that’s not all, as Spears has also decided to flag the Michigan Lottery as “not spam,” just in case she ends up winning once again. The $3 million jackpot is not the biggest prize people can win in the United States.

After a (mostly) uneventful lottery draw on Tuesday night, the Mega Millions prize pool has increased to $421 million and the next drawing is locked in for Friday, January 28. These numbers are still far from some of the most sizable awards ever offered, including the $1.54 billion jackpot hit in October 2018. 

Billions of Lottery Prizes Go Unclaimed 

Such “clerical errors” as Spears experienced are not too uncommon. You may think nobody would miss collecting seven figures from their lottery, and they would be on the lookout for every draw, but the numbers tell another story.

In 2016, 114 prizes worth at least $1 million went unclaimed, one of the biggest numbers on record. There were billions of uncollected cash prizes through mid-2017, according to a study conducted in 2018, and this trend has continued.

The higher the participation in gambling lotteries has been, the more rewards had remained locked out because claimants never showed up to collect them. One of the reasons for that is that everyone is too focused on the main jackpot, but they are ill aware that there are secondary prizes.

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