From Trash to Treasure: Couple Wins $1 Million on Lottery Ticket in Garbage

Joseph and Joanne Zagami opted for the one-time lump sum payment of $455,000.

ByABC News
July 27, 2013, 11:23 AM

July 27, 2013— -- A Massachusetts couple was one trip to the garbage dump away from missing out on $1 million after they almost threw away a winning scratch-off lottery ticket.

Lucky for Joseph and Joanne Zagami, of North Attleborough, Mass., the couple remembered they had inadvertently disposed of their ticket, and dug it out of the trash to find that they had hit the jackpot.

Joanne Zagami told ABC News' "Good Morning America" she had sent her husband out to pick up groceries and lottery tickets after they were forced to cancel their vacation because their refrigerator broke.

But after unpacking, the couple merely forgot about the ticket and headed out to a casino to try their luck.

"Before going in [to the casino], my husband said, 'Where are the lottery tickets?'" Joanne Zagami said. "I said, 'What lottery tickets?' and he said, 'Oh my gosh, I think I must have thrown them away.'"

Joseph Zagami said he realized he'd thrown the tickets away, and dug through the trash the next morning to see whether he had picked a winner.

"I scratched the ticket, ran into the bedroom, and woke Joanne up," he said. "She looked at it and said, 'Oh my god! Wow!'"

The Zagamis claimed their prize Wednesday and opted for the one-time, lump sum payment of $455,000 after taxes to help support their family and pay their mortgage, The Associated Press reported.

"We've gone through death, we're going through a wedding, we're going through a child being born," Joseph Zagami said.

But the couple also plans to have some fun with their newfound winnings, and told "Good Morning America" they plan to kick back and "party."