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'Mistake ticket' leads to win for AF man

AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho - An American Falls man is $205,000 richer after buying a jackpot-winning ticket from the Christmas Day Wild Card draw.

Robert "Peanuts" Bernal made the discovery after he returned home from family Christmas celebrations and checked all of his tickets.

"I got home and realized it was a Powerball night, so I checked all my tickets, including Wild Card using my phone," he said in a news release from the Idaho Lottery. "At first I saw that I had all the numbers for Wild Card. It wasn't until I checked it again that I realized I had the Wild Card too. I didn't think I was going to sleep at all, but I did pretty well!"

Bernal had bought a "mistake ticket" from the Jacksons store in American Falls.

The Idaho Lottery said this kind of ticket is common, usually being produced when a clerk and player miscommunicate on the type of ticket being ordered. All lottery tickets are valid at the time they are printed, but these tickets are the property of the retail store until sold to players.

"I started buying ‘mistake' tickets a few years ago after I won big on an Idaho Pick3 ticket," said Bernal. "I was in the store last Wednesday, and there was a Wild Card multi-draw mistake ticket they were trying to sell, so I bought it. That was the winning ticket!"

For its part in selling the winning ticket, Jacksons gets a bonus of $20,000 from the Idaho Lottery.
Wild Card is a multi-state jackpot game played in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.  Bernal's jackpot win is Idaho's 19th since the game began and third in the past 16 months.

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