An accident worth a million dollar prize

Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 5:14pm

BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — Robert Thibodeaux goes to a store near his house every Saturday. Every week he buys $5 worth of Louisiana Lottery tickets. One Saturday, however, the cashier made a simple mistake that made him a millionaire.

“I asked the woman to give me two Powerballs, two lottos, and Easy 5,” Thibodeaux recalls. “I took 5 dollars out of my wallet, I gave her the money, she come back and she say ‘It’s 7 dollars, I gave you the Power Play.”

Thibodeaux shook off the accident and paid the extra $2. That night, he couldn’t contain his surprise when he learned that not only had he won, but he won big.

“I went to bed Saturday as a nutria and woke up Sunday as a mink,” Thibodeaux, who’s South Louisiana charm is as infectious as it is endearing, exclaimed. “It’s just unbelievable. That’s the only way to say it. Unbelievable.”

Since winning the massive prize, Thibodeaux says his phone has continued to ring off the hook.
“People call me all over the United States,” he says. “I have family in Germany and they’ve called me. We’ve had a great time with it. It’s been so fun.”

On Thursday, Nov. 10, Thibodeaux and nearly a dozen family members filed into the Louisiana Lottery Headquarters located on Laurel Street in downtown Baton Rouge, to claim his prize. Thibodeaux says that the money may change his pocketbook, but it will never change his love for life, and his family.

“We’re going to stay like we are,” he says. “How lucky can you get?”

As for the cashier who made the mistake, Thibodeaux says he’s already gone back to the store and talked with the woman. He says he invited her to be in attendance when collecting the prize, but she declined. However, Thibodeaux says he made her a promise that he will make sure to fulfill as soon as possible.

“I went back to the store and I said to her, ‘Maybe you’re too young to know who Douglas Macarthur is,” Thibodeaux explained. “He’s the one who left the Philippines and told the people ‘I shall return.’ I said, ‘Ma’am, I have to take care of all my business and get it done, but I shall return and I’m going to give you a check, and that I will do. I will stand to my word.’”

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