Surprise winners: Connecticut couple finds $100,000 lottery ticket hidden in their car

A Connecticut couple is celebrating an unexpected payday after finding $100,000 in a surprising place — their own car.

Frank Laquitara and his fiancé, Debbie Long-Combs, were driving to Virginia to visit family last month when they made a discovery: There was a Powerball ticket tucked inside the sun visor of their car.

Long-Combs said she'd recently gotten an email saying a winning ticket had been sold, so she checked the numbers. To her surprise, the winning numbers seemed to match the ones on their ticket.

"Frank checked the tickets while I read the numbers off of the email — we matched four numbers, plus the Powerball," Long-Combs told the Connecticut Lottery. "We didn't believe it, even after I repeated the numbers twice and checked the ticket with the Lottery's mobile app."

But the couple wanted to be 100 percent sure, so they didn't tell anyone about the win until they made it back home from vacation.

"Once we got back to Connecticut, I went to a lottery retailer and scanned the ticket in a ticket checker. When it said it was a $100,000 winner, that's when I said, 'It's official. We won!'" Laquitara said.

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Laquitara and Long-Combs, who doubled their winnings from $50,000 to $100,000 thanks to a Power Play multiplier, said the jackpot came at an ideal time. Long-Combs said a large portion of the money will go to getting Laquitara a new car and fixing the motor on their boat.

"We're very grateful — the timing is impeccable," she said. 

It's unclear how exactly the ticket got inside their car, or if the couple had originally purchased the ticket themselves and just misplaced it. Regardless, the incident is reminiscent of a similar lucky find last year, when a Louisiana couple stumbled across a winning ticket while cleaning up before Thanksgiving.

That $1.8 million jackpot, from a ticket the couple had bought weeks earlier, came at an exciting time. The ticket was set to expire just two weeks later, meaning the couple may never have won if they hadn't been cleaning for the holidays.