It happened at a bowling alley in Lincoln, Nebraska. A customer was the first person to notice the pint-sized redhead inside the machine.
The 3-year-old was playing innocently with the stuffed animals and 'bear claw.'
"There were probably 25 people surrounding him and he didn't notice anybody," said Rachel Hildreth with Madsen Bowling and Billiards. "He was just inside playing with the stuffed animals."
Employees unlocked the machine and got the boy out, but then couldn't find his mother and called police.
Officers were already nearby since a woman who lived across the street called 911 and claimed her son was missing.
Officers took the woman to the bowling alley, where she was reunited with her son.
KTRK-TV HOUSTON, TX contributed to this report.