Lottery winner says ‘mistake’ led to $1 million prize

Josh Buster believes a printing error made him a millionaire. (Credit: Iowa Lottery)

An Iowa man believes a ticket-printing error paved the way for him to win the $1 million Mega Millions prize. 

Josh Buster, 40, of West Burlington said he went to play the lottery for a drawing. But instead of giving him five-easy pick plays, the local convenience store clerk mistakenly just printed one play. The clerk then asked Buster if it was okay to print the remaining four plays on a separate ticket. 

"I feel like that changed the numbers that I would have gotten if he had put them all on one instead of making that mistake," Buster said in a news release

Buster works at a local restaurant as a prep chef. He claimed his prize last Monday at the Iowa Lottery headquarters after realizing he had won the previous Saturday. 

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"I got up to go to work early in the morning. I opened up the lottery app and scanned my tickets," he continued. "I always keep my tickets in the console of my car. And I scanned it in the car and freaked out and ran back inside."

He said had initially had trouble believing he had won. 

"I don't usually have good luck, so I thought it was a mistake and there was going to be an error," he added. "So I Googled the lottery numbers to make sure I had the right ones, and I did! And then the rest of the day, I'm just waiting to wake up from a dream."

Lottery officials said Buster plans to pay off his car and the mortgage on his mother’s house, putting the rest away in retirement. 

"It will take away a lot of my stress in my life — no more of the financial worries," he said.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.