A Canadian couple ran the full gamut of emotions when their winning lottery ticket worth US$50 million went missing - only to be found and returned by a fellow church member.
Hakeem Nosiru won the January 17 Lotto Max draw and was one day away from claiming the money when the signed ticket, which he taped to the inside of his wife's purse for safekeeping, went missing after they attended church.
That sparked a frantic search of their home, with rubbish bins upended and their contents picked through, an effort that left Nosiru and his wife - who are originally from Nigeria - empty handed and feeling "miserable".
But that despair turned to joy after a fellow member of the congregation discovered the ticket, which had their address on it, and returned it to them on April 1.
The saga wasn't over yet, however,as Nosiru handed the ticket to police,who were investigating the matter for Ontario Lottery and Gaming to ensure there were no further snags.
Everything checked out and Nosiru and his wife Abiola were beaming for the cameras at the lottery prize centre on Monday, telling reporters they planned to travel the world and help out their family.
Abiola Nosiru said that when she realised her husband's winning ticket had disappeared from her purse "I had a fly in my stomach and I couldn't sleep for days. I couldn't eat. I was devastated".
"We just wanted to see the reality. And the reality is right here now," she added, fighting back tears.