A Polish man living in Germany went about his business for about five years without noticing he had been shot in the head because he was drunk when it happened.
Police in the western city of Bochum said on Tuesday doctors found a .22 caliber bullet in the back of his head after the 35-year-old went to have what he thought was a cyst removed.
Presented with the 5.6mm projectile, the man recalled he had received a blow to the head around midnight at a New Year's party "in 2004 or 2005," but had forgotten about it because he had been "very drunk," a police spokesman said.
"He told us he remembered having a sore head, but that he wasn't really one for going to the doctor," the spokesman said.
The wound later healed around the bullet and it was not until the man decided to have the lump examined due to recurring pains that the discovery was made.
Police said they were not treating the incident as suspicious as the bullet might have got lodged in the man's head when a reveler fired a gun in celebration.
"It may have been a shot fired up in the air which entered his head on the way down," the spokesman said.
The resident of Herne, who has lived in Germany for several years, was expected to be released from hospital later this week after the bullet was removed on Friday, police said.