On May 25, 2016, Jimmie Smith of East Orange, New Jersey, won $24.1 million from the New York Lottery. But he had no idea.
It was only once the one-year deadline approached and local news outlets started to report that no one had claimed the prize money, that the 68-year-old decided to take a look at the shirt pocket where he accumulated old, unchecked tickets, reports Park Slope Patch.
When he realized he had the winning number, Smith said, "I had to stick my head out the window and breathe in some fresh air. I was in serious doubt. I really had to convince myself this was real."
He also did not rush to Manhattan to collect the winnings, saying he needed time "to clear out some cobwebs" before he went.
That kind of calm, collected response is exactly what financial experts recommend.