updated 12/30/2008 8:35:17 PM ET 2008-12-31T01:35:17

A Vermont man who threw out a lottery ticket he'd been given for Christmas pulled it out of the trash and cashed it — winning $650,000.

Steven LeClair of Richford got the ticket for the Dec. 24 Tri-State Megabucks drawing as a gift from his mother. But it was in a gift bag that LeClair threw away, not knowing it was inside.

Vermont Lottery spokeswoman Hadley Melendy said LeClair's wife found out two days later that the only winning ticket had been sold at Mac's Richford Market, so he went through a trash receptacle in his home and found it.

LeClair, who works for a car dealership and doesn't play the lottery, couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

His telephone number isn't listed, and a message left for him with Vermont Lottery officials wasn't immediately returned.

New Hampshire and Maine also participate in Tri-State Megabucks.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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