Man finds £18.2m winning lottery ticket in old shirt

Rosie Vare

For nearly a year, a $24.1 million (£18.2m) New York Lottery prize went unclaimed.

With a little time remaining before the ticket expired lottery staff amped up their efforts to track down the ticket holder.

See also: Irish lottery players claim ball had two numbers

See also: Lotto winner tried to leave partner without revealing £3m winnings

Luckily for one man the plan worked, Jimmie Smith, a 68-year-old retired security officer living in New Jersey said a local news segment motivated him to look through a stack of unchecked tickets he had left in a shirt pocket.

It turned out that the big winner was among them.

Smith told the New York Lottery: "I stood there for a minute, thinking 'Do I see what I think I see?'. I had to stick my head out the window and breathe in some fresh air. I was in serious doubt. I really had to convince myself this was real."

He also suggested that he wasn't entirely sure what he was going to do with his newfound fortune, saying he and his family would get together to discuss the matter.