TV news report leads East Orange man to old shirt, $24M jackpot

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EAST ORANGE -

An Essex County man says a television news report spurred him to check an old shirt filled with lottery tickets, where he found a $24 million winner.

Jimmie Smith, of East Orange, claimed a $24.1 million New York Lottery jackpot on May 23, two days before the prize would have expired.

The New York Lottery released his name on Wednesday after a review was completed.

The retired security guard told lottery officials that he's been buying lottery tickets in New York and New Jersey since the 1960s, but doesn't rush to see whether he's won. He says "I'll check them when I have the time."

Smith says he bought the ticket from a grocery and tobacco shop in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan.

He chose to receive the payout over 26 years.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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