Another tense-related question

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Here’s what I read in an article on Fox News, the last sentence of which I take issue as to its tense:

“She accidentally put $6 in the self-service terminal and bought her tickets,” the lottery reported. “When she realized she still had $1 in credit, she thought, ‘I might as well get another SuperLotto Plus ticket.’ That sixth ticket was the winner.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/05/single-mother-simple-error-earns-her-14-million-lottery-prize/?test=latestnews#ixzz2SSK8yCgk

In consideration that the ticket remains a winning ticket to the present day, shouldn’t the last sentence be, “The sixth ticket WAS DETERMINED TO BE the winner”? (Capital letters are my addition to it, replacing the original word of “was the winner.”)  Saying was the winning ticket sounds inaccurate, don't you think? Am I wrong? Please help! Thanks!

tenses asked May 05 '13 at 21:36 Heather New member

2 answers


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Your addition is correct grammar, but I think the original was fine too. It sounds as if she had already collected her prize when the article was written, so the winning was in the past.

link answered May 05 '13 at 22:10 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Thank you

HeatherMay 06 '13 at 23:30

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Adding "determined to be" between "was" and "the winner" doesn't change the tense. It is still in the past tense. She bought the ticket in the past, the numbers were drawn in the past, it was determined in the past. The ticket doesn't keep winning. It won once, and that moment has passed.

link answered May 05 '13 at 23:39 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Thank you

HeatherMay 06 '13 at 23:31

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