Drowning victim found with winning lottery ticket in his wallet

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 7:42 PM EDT
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CASEVILLE, Mich. (WJRT) - The body of a man was found along a private beach on the Saginaw Bay with a winning lottery ticket.

An autopsy of 57-year-old Gregory Jarvis confirms he drowned. Police were concerned after they discovered the winning ticket for $45,000 in his wallet.

He had tried to cash it in but didn’t have a Social Security card that was in good shape. He applied for another but died along the private beach Friday before it arrived.

Jarvis was at the Blue Water Inn in Caseville on Sept. 13 when he was playing the Club Keno add-on game The Jack. He hit the jackpot.

“Very nice guy, he was here every day,” said Dawn Talaski, owner of the inn.

Talaski said Jarvis was back at the Blue Water on Sept. 19, buying rounds of drinks but at that time had still not cashed the ticket.

The night he walked out of the Blue Water was the last time anyone is believed to have seen Jarvis. Talaski said something felt amiss the next day when he didn’t come into the bar.

“Sometimes he’s up north working,” she said. “He wasn’t here all week, and we thought something is wrong.

She says his boss came into the bar the following Wednesday, saying Jarvis had not shown up for work. A resident along the private beach called police Friday, saying a body had washed ashore near Jarvis’ boat.

“We are thinking that he was tying up his boat, slipped and fell, hit his head, and that’s where he ended up in the water. No foul play suspected,” said Caseville Police Chief Kyle Romzek.

Romzek says when his department learned about the winning lottery ticket, they did some further investigation.

“At first, we were concerned about it but after the autopsy, and we interviewed people at the bar, he was well-liked around here, he was nice guy, that took it off the table,” Romzek said.

The autopsy shows Jarvid had head injuries consistent with hitting his head on the boat and he drowned. Talaski says Jarvis had made some plans for the money.

“He was planning to take that money and go see his sister and his dad in North Carolina,” she said.

The Michigan Lottery Commission confirms that winners of prizes of more than $600 have to provide a photo ID and their Social Security card, the actual card, to collect their winnings.

Greg Jarvis’s relatives now have the winning ticket.

Copyright 2021 WJRT via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.