A 57-year-old man in Michigan, who won $45,000 in the lottery earlier this month, was found dead before he could claim his prize.
Gregory Jarvis' body was found near his boat along a private beach on Saginaw Bay last Friday, ABC12 reported. An autopsy later confirmed he had drowned and suffered head injuries consistent with hitting his head on the boat, according to the outlet.
"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," Caseville police chief Kyle Romzek was quoted as saying.
Jarvis allegedly had a winning lottery ticket in his wallet that he got at the Blue Water Inn in Caseville on Sept. 13 while playing the Club Keno add-on game "The Jack." He was unable to cash in the prize as he did not have a social security card that was in good shape, forcing him to wait as he applied for a new one.
Winners of prizes of more than $600 are required to provide a photo ID and their social security card to collect their winnings, The Michigan Lottery Commission said.
Dawn Talaski, the owner of the Blue Water Inn, described Jarvis as a "very nice guy."
"[H]e was here every day," Talaski said.
"He was planning to take that money and go see his sister and his dad in North Carolina," she explained.
The last time anyone is believed to have seen Jarvis was on the night of Sept. 19, where Talaski claimed he had bought rounds of drinks at the bar despite still not cashing in his $45,000 ticket.
"He couldn't cash it because he didn't have a social security card at all, it wasn't any good, so he applied for a new one," Talaski said.
The bar owner claimed she felt something was amiss when Jarvis did not come into the bar the next day.
"Sometimes he's up north working. He wasn't here all week and we thought, 'Something is wrong,'" Talaski said.
Jarvis' boss also came into the bar on Sept. 22 and said he had not shown up for work.
A resident along a private beach in Caseville called police Friday morning after he spotted a body washed ashore near a boat. The body was later identified as Jarvis.
Police allegedly did some further investigation after they learned about Jarvis' winning lottery ticket.
"[W]e were concerned about it. But after the autopsy, and we interviewed people at the bar, he was well-liked around here. He was [a] nice guy. That took [foul play] off the table," Romzek said.
Jarvis' winning ticket has since been handed over to his relatives.