Happy mistake: Michigan man accidentally buys extra lotto ticket, wins two $1M prizes

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LANSING, Mich. — Winning $1 million in a lottery drawing is wonderful, but an accidental purchase was twice as nice for a Michigan man.

Samir Mazahem, 56, of Dearborn Heights, accidentally bought two Mega Millions tickets for the June 9 drawing. The tickets had the same five numbers -- 1, 5, 9, 10 and 23 -- and both were winners, according to Michigan Lottery officials. Each ticket was worth $1 million.

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Mazahem bought his tickets online at MichiganLottery.com.

“I went online and bought a ticket using numbers that are family birthdays,” Mazahem said in a lottery news release. "I forgot to save the numbers as favorites in the app, so I went back in and set them up as favorites so I could easily play them in the future.

“What I didn’t realize, is that meant I would be buying a second ticket with the same numbers. Once I figured out I had bought two tickets with identical numbers, I was a little bummed but didn’t think much about it,” Mazahem added. “I recently logged into the app to check on some tickets I had bought, and that is when I saw I had two $1 million prizes pending. Saying that I was stunned is an understatement. I couldn’t believe it was real. It took several days for the reality to set in that my mistake had paid off to the tune of $2 million."

Mazahem visited Lottery headquarters to claim his prize. He said he plans to buy a home and save the remaining balance.

“Winning is exciting and gives me some comfort knowing that when I retire, I will have money in the bank,” Mazahem said in the Michigan Lottery release.