A flight attendant is now $50,000 richer — and it's all thanks to travel delays that landed him stranded at an airport.
The Salt Lake City man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was working as a flight attendant when travel delays between flights forced him to make an unexpected stop overnight at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
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"I’ve traveled all over the world, but the best place I’ve ever been is Hebron," he told lottery officials.
He called an Uber hoping to find something to eat when the driver directed him to a convenience store that was closer to the airport.
"I went in the store and while checking out, I thought, 'I’m going to buy three sets of numbers for three drawings,'" he said.
He chose the Quick Pick option, letting the terminal pick his numbers.
He told lottery officials that since his home state Utah doesn't have a lottery, he enjoys playing while traveling for work.
It wasn’t until several days later that he checked his ticket.
"The number seven Powerball jumped out at me at first because my birthday is on the seventh. I looked at it (the ticket) some more and was like, 'Oh wait a minute, I matched five numbers!'"
Uncertain of how much he had won, he immediately went to Reddit where he posted, "I was one number away from winning the jackpot."
Moments later, someone responded, "You won $50K!"
He proceeded to do research confirming the information he received was correct.
"This is crazy. I’ve never had this much money fall into my lap. It’s amazing," he said.
He told lottery officials he put the winning ticket on the refrigerator until he could figure out how to get back to Kentucky. After switching assignments with a coworker so that he’d have a layover in Louisville, he made his way to lottery headquarters this week to claim his ticket.
After taxes, he got a check for $35,500. "I’m still in shock. When I got the check, I was like, 'Wow.'"
He said he thinks he’ll use the winnings for a down payment on a house.
Airport Shell in Hebron, Kentucky, will receive $500 for selling the winning ticket.