The Winning Ticket
Therese Costabile is a cashier at a big drugstore in Cupertino, California. People can buy medicine at the drugstore. They can buy makeup, shampoo, watches, candy, and many other things, too. They pay Ms. Costabile for the things they buy.
At the drugstore people can also buy tickets for the California State Lottery. They pay one dollar for a lottery ticket. There are pictures on the ticket. Some pictures are winning pictures, and some pictures are losing pictures. Most people win nothing. Some people win two dollars. A few lucky people win thousands of dollars.
One day Ms. Costabile was working at the drugstore. She sold three lottery tickets to a woman. The woman looked at the pictures on the tickets. Then she threw the tickets on the counter and walked away. "These are losing tickets," she thought.
Ms. Costabile picked up the tickets and looked at them. She was surprised. Then she was excited. One ticket was a winning ticket!
"Excuse me!" Ms. Costabile called to the woman. "You won $50,000!"
The woman walked back to the counter. She took the winning ticket and looked at it. "You're right," she said. "I won $50,000." The woman walked away slowly, in shock. Then she turned around. "Thanks," she said to Ms. Costabile.
Why did Ms. Costabile give the woman the ticket? Why didn't she keep the ticket? Didn't she want the $50,000?
"Of course I wanted the money," Ms. Costabile said. "But it was her ticket. It wasn't my ticket."
Ms. Costabile telephoned her mother and told her about the ticket.
"Well, I'm sorry that you aren't rich," her mother said. "But I'm happy that you're honest."