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Michigan man accidentally wins two $1 million Mega Millions prizes

He bought two identical tickets for the same drawing -- and both were winners
Mega Millions bet cards are shown at the Corner Market, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in...
Mega Millions bet cards are shown at the Corner Market, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Lyndhurst, Ohio. The estimated jackpot for Friday's drawing would be the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history with a jackpot estimated to exceed $900 million. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (KY3)
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 10:55 AM EDT
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DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (WJRT) - A Dearborn Heights man accidentally purchased two Mega Millions tickets for the June 9 drawing.

That accident turned into a stroke of good luck, as both tickets matched the five white balls -- 01-05-09-10-23 -- and each brought him a separate $1 million prize.

Samir Mazahem, 56, bought the tickets online from the Michigan Lottery. He played numbers that correspond to birthdays in his family.

“I forgot to save the numbers as favorites in the app, so I went back in and set them up as favorites so I could easily play them in the future,” Mazahem said. “What I didn’t realize, is that meant I would be buying a second ticket with the same numbers.”

He was “a little bummed” after he discovered he actually bought two tickets costing $2 apiece for the same drawing and didn’t give it much thought. Then Mazahem logged onto the Michigan Lottery website and discovered there are not one -- but two -- separate $1 million prizes waiting.

Once I figured out I had bought two tickets with identical numbers, I was a little bummed but didn’t think much about it.

“Saying that I was stunned is an understatement," he said. "I couldn’t believe it was real. It took several days for the reality to set in that my mistake had paid off to the tune of $2 million.”

Mazahem recently visited Michigan Lottery headquarters in Lansing to claim his prizes. He plans to buy a home with his winnings and save the rest for a comfortable retirement.

“Winning is exciting and gives me some comfort knowing that when I retire, I will have money in the bank,” Mazahem said.

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