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A New Jersey woman will soon be a whopping $5 million richer after checking the numbers on the scratch-off lottery ticket she accidentally purchased two weeks ago.

Oksana Zaharov, 46, meant to buy a $1 scratch-off ticket while she was shopping in New York City, but she was mistakenly issued a $10 one by the clerk instead. Even though she went ahead a bought it anyway, she waited a full two weeks to check it.

“When the clerk handed me the wrong ticket I felt bad so I decided to just go ahead and buy it,” she said on Tuesday. “I actually used the ticket as a bookmark for a couple weeks before I decided to scratch it.”

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Much to her surprise, she eventually scratched off her ticket to reveal the winning numbers.

Oksana Zaharov (New York Lottery)

“I never win anything,” Zaharov said. “I was sure the ticket was fake. It wasn’t until I brought it into the office that I knew it was for real.”

The mother of two will receive 19 annual payments of $260,000 ($172,068 after taxes) and one additional payment of $60,000 ($39,708 after taxes). Then, she will continue to receive annual net payments of $172,068. With her newfound wealth, Zaharov plans to take her family on a vacation to the Bahamas and to set aside much of the remaining money for her children’s future college educations.

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Carlin Becker About the author:
Carlin Becker is an Associate Content Editor at Rare.
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