A Louisiana couple cleaning their home ahead of Thanksgiving this week found over one million reasons to be thankful this holiday season—a winning lottery ticket worth $1.8 million—two weeks before the prize was due to expire, officials said.
Harold and Tina Ehrenberg came across a few lottery tickets on their nightstand on Nov. 17 while tidying up before family arrived to spend the holidays, Louisiana Lottery officials said in a statement. The couple, having never checked their numbers, visited the lottery website and realized one ticket had all the matching numbers.
“At first I thought that we might have made a mistake, misreading the numbers or the expiration date,” Harold told ABC News. “So we checked it a number of times and sure enough they were the right numbers. It was pretty exciting.”
However, the couple realized they had almost lost out on their good fortune. The lottery drawing was on June 6, leaving the couple with just two weeks to claim their winnings, officials said.
Prizes for draw-style games must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing in which the prize was won, according to the lottery statement.
After successfully claiming the jackpot—and paying federal and state tax withholdings—the couple walked away with $1,274,313 in winnings, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.
“We don’t have any plans to buy anything crazy or go on any big trips,” Tina Ehrenberg said.
“The most fun is going to be depositing that check!” Harold Ehrenberg added.