Imagine learning that the lottery ticket you weren't aware you lost was a winner — then hearing it was turned in.

That was the happy news Mary Ann Doerrbecker got from police Monday in Bay Shore, New York.

She unknowingly dropped the ticket after buying and signing it at a convenience store. It was found by an Army sergeant and his girlfriend, who took it to a police station.

Police located Doerrbecker, who was shocked, and offered the couple a reward. Sergeant Edward Boniberger declined, urging that she donate some of the money to charity.

Boniberger said, "There's people out there who need it a lot more than I do." Boniberger returned from Iraq last September.