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Earl Livingston, 87, was en route to a store to buy a Mega Millions lottery ticket when he slipped and fell, breaking his hip, according to NBC10.

Mr Livingston had to be hospitalised at Jefferson Stafford Hospital and missed out on buying an entry.

A $1 million lottery ticket purchased in Lindenwold, New Jersey is going to a group of hospital employees in South Jersey - and one patient. The lucky victor or winners hit a jackpot worth $1.54 billion in estimated annuity value (or $878 million in cash). The pool featured a $1 million winning ticket.

States receive a percentage of lottery ticket sales and use the money to support public schools or to meet other needs. "I thought he was confused, maybe from pain meds".

Livingston and his family were thrilled to hear the news and grateful that the hospital's staff made him feel like a part of the team, Kraemer said.

"And then the staff came into the room and they were saying congratulations and I was like, "Wow, he really did win".

"We were overwhelmed and humbled that they did this", niece Bobbie Mickle said.