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Virginia woman realizes she won the lottery after already trashing her ticket

<i>Virginia Lottery</i><br/>Mary Elliot of Buckingham County
Virginia Lottery
Mary Elliot of Buckingham County

By Yenny Sanchez, CNN

Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone — or, in this case, thrown away.

Mary Elliot of Buckingham County, Virginia, panicked after realizing she had won a state lottery game on February 24 but had already tossed the ticket in the trash.

“When I saw I’d won, I couldn’t stop shaking to save my life!” she said in a Virginia Lottery statement on Tuesday.

She immediately began fishing though her garbage in search of the Cash 5 EZ Match game, which she found riddled in coffee stains. In fact, the ticket was in such bad condition, the barcode wouldn’t scan to confirm her win.

Luckily, officials at Virginia Lottery’s Prize Zone West in Henrico were able to verify that Elliot had matched all five winning numbers in the lottery drawing, and awarded her the $110,000 top prize.

Cash 5 EZ Match is a rolling jackpot lottery game. The odds of matching all five numbers to win are 1 in 749,398, Virginia Lottery said.

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