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Trash Strike Pays Off for Lotto Winners

November 27, 2003|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — The Chicago area's garbage strike was a nuisance for many, but now it smells sweet to two lottery winners who had mistakenly thrown their $10.5-million ticket in the trash.

Chicago resident Ezekiel "Zeek" Garnett, 27, and his sister, Karen, 24, bought an Illinois Lotto ticket Oct. 4 in Niles but threw it out without checking the numbers. Their mother then heard that a ticket sold in Niles was a winner, and she checked the trash with her daughter.

Thanks to the nine-day garbage strike last month, the ticket matching all six numbers was in a bag waiting to be picked up, lottery officials said.

"This will definitely help me live more comfortably. But I'm still keeping my job at UPS," Zeek Garnett said Wednesday.

His sister, a baggage screener at Midway Airport, said she would pay off bills, buy a home and take her dream vacation to Hawaii.

"I always thought maybe I could go there on my honeymoon, but now it looks like I can go sooner," she said.

The siblings said their mother would be taken care of financially.

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