Kal Patel (left) tracked down the owner of a $1 million winning lottery ticket on March 18
Tom Dorsey/Salina Journal
June 07, 2018 04:13 PM

A Kansas couple are now millionaires after wining the lottery — but they almost never even learned of their earnings.

Back in March, Andy Patel was behind the counter at a gas station in Salina when a customer came in to have three lottery tickets checked, reported local outlet KWCH. After checking the first two — non-winners — Andy let the customer leave before remembering to check the third.

Andy told the outlet he eventually realized the third ticket had been left behind, and still checked it.

“And that’s the one that ended up being a million dollar winner,” Kal Patel — whose parents own the Pit Stop gas station — told KWCH.

He said that Andy called him, and the pair determined that they would track down the ticket’s owner, who Kal told The Garden City Telegram he recognized by description as a “longtime customer.”

“They didn’t know they had the winning ticket, so they never would have known if I hadn’t found them,” Kal told the Telegram. “But then you’d have to live through the guilt of that all your life.”

Kal told the Telegram that he drove to the man’s neighborhood, but couldn’t identify his home by the customer’s vehicle. About to give up and return to the store, he serendipitously spotted the customer driving out of the neighborhood.

After following in his car, eventually the man stopped and Kal showed them their winnings. He told the Telegram, “They started shaking. They couldn’t believe it.”

Kal believes in “good deeds,” he told the newspaper, adding, “It felt good to find it and then find them.”

And the good karma is already working: KWCH said that both Andy and Kal were awarded the Helping Hand from local firm, DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers, earning $1,200.

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