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Georgia Lottery Corp.
Andrew Hunter won $250,000 on a ticket he traded for another one he pulled from the trash.
TODAY.com
updated 11/18/2011 12:06:06 PM ET 2011-11-18T17:06:06

Sometimes it pays to not take out the trash.

That’s what Andrew Hunter of Dawsonville, Ga., found out earlier this week. The 24-year-old server at a Taco Mac, a Georgia restaurant chain, had thrown out a lottery ticket he thought was worthless, but then had a second thought.

Story: Woman finds her diamond ring in garbage truck

“I didn’t realize you could win $3 for matching one number plus the Mega Ball,” he said, according to galottery.com, the website of the Georgia Lottery.

So Hunter reached into the trash, took the ticket back out, and took it to a convenience store in Cumming, near the Taco Mac where he works. He reinvested the $3 in three $1 Mega Millions tickets.

Story: Husband digs through nine tons of trash to find wife's ring

In Tuesday’s drawing, one of the three won him $250,000.

“I would have never bought that ticket if I hadn’t pulled the other ticket out of the trash,” Hunter said. “I don’t think it’s really hit me yet.”

Hunter said he plans to invest most of his winnings.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

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