Woman's winning prize ticket tossed with junk mail

Goshen, IN - (NBC) - Elizabeth William's story may change the way you look at junk mail. She almost lost $10,000 by throwing a flyer away into the trash.

Elizabeth recently got a scratch-off promotional flyer from The Car Company in Goshen, Indiana encouraging people to come into the dealership for prizes, and hopefully buy a car.

Elizabeth just wasn't interested.

"I never believe somebody can win anything," she explained.

So Elizabeth ripped up the flyer and tossed it into the garbage.

The next day Elizabeth's neighbor knocked on her door.

He had taken his flyer to The Car Company, and while he didn't win, he was told his serial number was only six digits off the grand prize.

That means the winner was in his neighborhood so he diligently started knocking on doors.

"We dug through the trash and got it out and put all the pieces together with tape," Elizabeth explains.

She took her salvaged flyer into Goshen, and to her complete amazement, won $10,000.

"I can't believe it yet! I can't believe it," Elizabeth exclaims. "I never won anything, probably $7 on a lotto ticket, but $10,000 is good. It helps a lot."

Elizabeth is a single mom and grandma. She recently got engaged, so she says she may go on a nice honeymoon with the winnings. Elizabeth says she may also pay off her house or put the money into savings.

Regardless, she says she'll give her neighbor a cut for knocking on her door the day before the trash was picked up.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.