Man plays wrong game, wins $14-million lottery, almost didn't claim it

Napolean Elvord, left, of Madison is presented with a replica check from Wisconsin Lottery.

Winning the lottery is pure luck. Sometimes, it's dumb luck.

When a convenience store in Madison, Wisconsin was notified they had sold the winning Megabucks ticket, worth a cool $14.3-million, they couldn't wait to find out who the big winner was.

They waited...and waited...and waited...but after three days, still no one had come forward to claim the prize.

The store told the Wisconsin State Journal that they hoped it was a regular customer, like Napolean Elvord, an ailing veteran in need of a kidney transplant who comes in several times a day to get what he calls "one of the best coffees in Madison" â?? and most days, to buy lottery tickets.

"I asked him the next day, 'Were you the big winner?'" Paul Muchie, 29, of Madison, who sold the winning ticket at the store at 3859 E. Washington Ave. on the Far East Side.

Elvord said it wasn't him, but as days passed with no one coming forward to claim the millions, manager Corky Wunderlin asked again.

"He thought it was Wednesday's drawing" that had the multimillion winner, Wunderlin said.

Elvord said he found his ticket from Saturday's drawing on a table at his home.

When he initially checked the numbers they didn't match up...because he was checking it against the Wednesday numbers.

Elvord then took the ticket directly to the Wisconsin Lottery office to have it checked.

"The first thing they asked me was, 'Did you make up the ticket?'" Elvord told the Journal.

Most people who come in already know they have a winning ticket, explained Michael Edmonds, the lottery's director.

What went through his head when he realized he had won millions?

"It's still going through my head," said Elvord, who opted for a $10.2 million lump sum payment, giving him $6.87 million after taxes.

To add yet another twist to the story, Elvord admits he even played the wrong game.

He explained that he had let another customer go ahead of him before Muchie printed out his winning Megabucks ticket with computer-generated numbers.

"I think it was a mistake because I was trying to play the Powerball." Elvord said.

Could you ever be THIS lucky???