First off let me tell you this is a true story nothing has been changed how ever there are a few things not revealed just to keep you wondering.
I was written by the man who it happened to and it's in all his own writing so please no comments about his grammar, or punctuation.
It all started on Good Friday 2009. I walk every morning to the bus stop to get to work, there is no way I can get there any cheaper. A monthly buss pass is $65.00. it takes me just under an hour to get there using the bus, but if I have to drive it now the cost would be over $5.00 a day just in gas and the drive would take 40 minutes.
I walk two and a half blocks to get to the bus stop, and I walk by one of the local churches. Since it was Good Friday they were having some early services and there were a few people coming and going even at that early hour. As I walked by the steps I saw a wallet lying in the corner of the bottom step. It was one of those real long kinds, not like the fold over one I have. I opened it and looked inside there was a few photos but there was no cash just a couple of ID's (Driver's License, Social Security Card) and four credit cards.
I put the wallet in my coat and figured to give the guy a call when I got to work and send it to him.
I work in a machine shop. My job is to assign the jobs for the day and to give out tools as they are called for. I used to be a machinist but my eyes are not good enough anymore, so they moved me up to the tool crib and made me the floor manager. I had given out the jobs for the day and I then tried to look up the owner of the wallet. There was no listing in the phone book and the address was way on the other side of the county. I was telling one of the women in the front office about my find and that I wasn't able to get a number to call the owner of the wallet. She told me to call one of the credit card companies and tell them what I had and see if they would call the owner and then he could call me at work, to get his wallet back.
So I called the one gold card that was in his wallet, I got a woman in customer service and she forwarded me to her supervisor, I explained about finding the wallet and wanting to get it returned. She put me on hold and maybe four or five minutes. She came back and asked for my name, work address, and phone number. I gave it to her and she told me to hold on for just a minute. A minute or so later she was back, and she told me that she had contacted the credit card owner and had given him my name and address and that he would be contacting me later on today. She then thanked me for taking such good care of her customer and that the credit card company would like to send me a thank you.
I told her it was no big deal and I left it at that.
Just after lunch I was paged over the PA to come to the front office, when I got there I was told to report to the owner's office. I knocked and was asked to come in. In the office was the owner and another man, who I noticed as the man who's photo was on the driver's license in the wallet I had found. The wallets owner was very grateful for finding his wallet and explained that he had taken his mother to church that morning and she was cold and he had covered her up with his coat and the wallet must have fallen out then.
I told him that there was no cash in the wallet when I found it just his ID, the photos and credit cards. He told me that he never carried cash in his wallet just in his pants pockets. He thanked me again and then gave me an envelope, on the outside was written "Thank You". I told him that it was not necessary and I tried to give it back. He told me that I was to take the money and take my wife out for a nice Good Friday dinner.
All the time this was going on my boss was just watching and smiling. He told me to take the Thank You and get back to work. Which I did.
As we were cleaning up for the day I called my wife and told her to meet me at the bus stop and that we were going out for dinner and I would explain why we were going out early this month over dinner. We usually go out to dinner once a month as sort of a date night. After being married for 43 years you still need to have a date night once in a while.
My wife and I both love a good steak dinner so when she picked me up at the bus stop I told her to head out to Stuart Anderson's Steak House. She kept asking me what was going on and I told her that all would be revealed over our first beer and to just relax and get us there safely.
We had to wait a while to get a table, when we were finally seated I ordered us a couple of draft beers and told the server we would be ordering later. When the beers came back I toasted my wife with "I sure am glad that today is Good Friday". I then told her the happenings of the day and after I was done I gave her the unopened envelope. She opened it and pulled out four $50 bills wrapped in a sheet of plain white paper.
I was so shocked at how much money that was inside I was speechless however my wife more than made up for it with a very loud scream of joy. She asked me what I was going to do with the money, I told her that after the cost of dinner I was thinking of splitting with her just as long as we used it as fun and frivolous.
The next day my wife went to a nail salon and got her fingers and toe's done. For me I went to the 7-11 and got $50.00 worth of quick picks for that night's lotto drawing. I put the tickets in my coat and went home. On Sunday we went out to breakfast and did the normal weekly shopping. I was not thinking of the lotto and just forgot about the tickets.
On Monday my boss came by and we were talking about what had happened on Friday, he asked what I had done with the "Thank You". I told him about our dinner and how Lola went and got her nails done and that I had gotten the lotto tickets. He asked me how much I had won, I told him that I hadn't even looked yet. He told me to log on to the state lotto web page and see what I had won if anything. I did and after looking at the 5 ticket stubs I saw that I had five numbers and the mega number, on the web page they listed the amounts and the number of tickets that had won in each category. The line for 5 plus the mega showed that there were three winning tickets and that each one was worth 2.15 Million dollars if taken over twenty years or a onetime cash payment of 1.35 Million. To say I was over whelmed would be an understatement. My boss who was looking at the winning numbers to make sure I was not reading them wrong just started giggling.
I had no idea as to what I wanted to do with all that money. It was more money than I had ever even thought of ever having.
My boss after he calmed down told me that I needed to get an accountant to advise me on how to protect all the winnings as well as making sure I got all the tax's paid. He told me to give his accountant a call, but then he said to wait that he would call the accountant and tell him to come to the plant right away.
That afternoon the accountant came in and the boss told him about my winning and that he was to make sure that I got everything taken care of tax wise and to only make secure investments since this would be a once in a lifetime thing.
All our married life Lola and I had rented we never had enough money to save up for a down payment on a house, Oh we had some nice places that's for sure but when price's were low so was our bank account, and when prices were high it just wasn't enough. While the accountant was talking I decided that I wanted to take part of the money and get us a house of our own. Take the rest and invest it for our retirement which I was thinking about taking in a couple of years That night at home I was on pins and needles. I told Lola that I had won a few dollars and left it at that. The next day the accountant came to work and picked me up, we went to the lotto office and did that paper work to claim my winnings. The accountant had opened a trust account so the winnings went right into that account and not our regular checking account. The winnings they told me would take about 10 days to process and that they would then be deposited directly into my trust account. They would withhold the federal tax but that there were no state taxes on lotto winnings. They also told me that after the taxes were taken out, I would be getting just over $910,000.
When I got back to work, my boss and I did some talking and I told him I wanted to get a house since we had never had one before. He called his realtor and told him to come to the office right away and to bring his listing book.
The realtor was there in half an hour, the boss explained that I wanted a house and wanted the most for the money, even if I had to do some fix up work. He asked what I was looking for and I told him I wanted a two or three bedroom with a large bath, a front porch and a two car garage. He started looking in his book and marked a few pages with a post-it note. He then asked when I would be free to go look at houses and I told him that I had to work the rest of the week but I would be free on Saturday all day. He told me to come to his office early and that way we would have all the time we needed to look.
Saturday arrived and I was at the realtor's office at 9AM. He took me out to see what he thought would fill my needs based on the information I had given him.
Two of the houses were just too big and too new or flashy, two more were just in need of too much work. One was older but the bank had foreclosed on it and had done a lot of fixing up and they wanted too much for it. The sixth house was also a foreclosure, this bank had just let it sit and it was looking real bad with a lot of weeds in the front. It was the only one that had a full front porch, we had gone in and it was just as if the people had walked out and locked the doors. But it did have a lot of what I wanted and what I felt that Lola would like.
The realtor was aware of how I was going to have to wait for the money so he told me that if I wanted it that we should make a tentative offer and to take our time getting back, when they made a counter offer. And that was what we did. The asking price was $155,000 as is. We offered $115,000 cash on a 15 day escrow.
The next week I went to work as usual, nobody knew about the lotto winnings except the boss, his accountant, and the realtor. On Thursday (11 days after winning) I got a call from the accountant telling me that the lotto money had been deposited into the trust account and that when I had the final offer from the bank on the house to let him know who the escrow company was and he would arrange the transfer of the purchase price.
On Friday which was the next day, the bank made a counter offer of $135,000 and the realtor said to counter back with $127,000 cash and a 10 day escrow. On Monday of the next week the bank accepted our offer. I told my boss what had been happening all along and he pointed out that now I needed to get a contractor to make all the changes and fix it up the way I wanted. He told me that the contractor that the company uses on our building was just small enough to do the job and that right now their business was slow so they could give me a good price and get it done fairly fast. I told him to give them a call and to come in at lunch time one day this week and we could talk.