“Your one chance to win the jackpot slid down the drain?!” What would you do in this nightmare scenario?

As soon as you learn about the concept of a national lottery, it’s natural to dream about one day taking home the big jackpot. How would it revolutionize your life? How many expensive Shinkansen bento could you treat yourself to with your winnings? Understandable, then, that some of us more desperate schmoes might resort to similarly desperate measures. After all, the chance of winnning a national lottery is a measly one in 6,096,454 (specifically in Japan).

In China, that chance is even slimmer: one in about 14 million. So you can imagine the stunned horror from one gentleman, who forgot that he had left his lottery ticket in his pocket and then ran it through the laundry. This happens to all of us at some time or another, but we don’t usually see the numbers we picked get called out as the jackpot winner immediately afterward.


On July 17, the winning numbers for the prize of 6.43 million yuan (about US$957,000) was announced, and an unnamed gentleman living in Shanghai was ecstatic to realize they were the numbers he himself had chosen. But his elation melted into cold, miserable terror when he remembered the ticket had been stored in his pocket, that had since been run through the laundry machine. Once the laundry ticket was retrieved, it just looked like a bunch of mangled scrap paper. Uh-oh.

His worst fears were confirmed when he took it to the collections office and was told in no uncertain terms that he couldn’t trade in flimsy bits of laundry-washed paper with half of the ink scrubbed off of them, and definitely not for 6.43 million yuan.

After ten years of loyally purchasing a lottery ticket, the man finally thought he’d struck gold, but it turns out he’d just been hung out to dry. The winnings went unclaimed and were returned to the state’s funds for public benefit, as is customary for unclaimed lottery winnings.

Commenters from online had nothing but sympathy for this down-on-his luck would-be winner… Well, mostly.

“God, that sucks.”
“This is the sort of thing that you regret for the rest of your life.”
“He’s gotta be lying. Who would wash a lottery ticket if they were aiming for the jackpot?”

It’s not all bad, though. If he had won the grand prize, his family might have held him hostage until he split it with him, like this fellow from Korea. Now he’ll have to think up another way to get rich quick… Maybe this Hokkaido criminal from recent headlines can help him out.

Source: Livedoor News/Record China via Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso