Indian American store owners return $1 M lottery ticket to winner


New York: An Indian-origin family that owns a store in Massachusetts is being hailed for their honesty for returning a $1 million lottery ticket to the woman who had bought it because their elders in India advised them, “we don’t want that money.”

“I was a millionaire for a night,” the owner’s son Abhi Shah, who discovered the winning ticket, joked as he recounted his brief Midas touch, WBZ TV reported on Monday.

Although he had thought of buying a Tesla car, he decided to return the ticket to Leas Rose Fiega, who had bought the ticket from his mother Aruna Shah.

“Who does that? They’re great people. I am beyond blessed,” Fiega told Salem News.

Maunish Shah, who owns the Lucky Spot store in Springfield, Massachusetts, told WWLP TV that after the ticket was found, “we didn’t sleep two nights.” But they decided to consult his parents in India.

Abhi Shah told WBZ: “My grandmother said, ‘let’s not keep the ticket. It’s not right. Just give it back to them. If it’s in your luck, you’ll get it anyhow’.” So he went to locate her.

Rose Fiega had not scratched the squares properly and discarded the ticket in hurry. 

Abhi Shah told WWLP: “One evening, I was going through the tickets from the trash and (noticed) that she didn’t scratch the (right) number. I scratched the number and it was $1 million underneath.”

Congratulatory messages and praise have flooded the Shah family. “If I had kept that million, I wouldn’t have been this famous.”

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