Stolen Winning Lottery Tickets: For Greed All Nature Is Too Little

Stolen winning lottery tickets

Middle Eastern Shop Owners Steal Winning Lottery Tickets

It would appear that there is a growing epidemic of dishonest shop owners who steal the lottery winnings from their patrons in the United States. Within the past few years, there have been a growing number of cases where patrons have reported shady dealings to the authorities when it comes time to cash in their lottery tickets. There is a commonality with these cases. The majority of the shop owners guilty of this scam is a Middle Eastern descent.

The Stories

November 2013, a 34-year-old man in Hempstead, New York went into a convenience store and handed over a winning lottery ticket. The son of the shop owner scanned the man’s ticket and the message “File claim: jackpot winner – please return original ticket to the customer along with a claim receipt,” appeared. This meant that the man had won a million dollars!

Instead of giving the man the ticket and a claim receipt, he told the gentleman he only won $1,000, to which he paid out in cash. The man left the store, oblivious to what happened. The next day rolls around, and he becomes suspicious. So he goes back to the store and confronts the clerk.

Supposedly, the clerk told him he would pay the man $10,000 as long as he didn’t involve the police. Not only did the son lie, but the store’s owner (the clerk’s father) insisted that the winnings were just for $10,000. This made the man even more suspicious, and he did what any normal person would do and called the cops. Both men were arrested for grand larceny.

In March of 2013, two brothers were charged with stealing a $5 million lottery ticket from one of their patrons. The man who turned the ticket in was told he had won only $5,000 and was paid $4,000 (the shop owner took $1,000 for the store fee). The gentleman knew the ticket was worth $5 million. The store owners waited six years before cashing in the winning ticket. The brothers have been charged with the crime and went to trial in April 2013. The family knows a thing or two about lottery fraud. The brother’s uncle was also charged with stealing 256 scratch-off tickets.

In 2012, a woman in New Orleans, Louisiana almost got swindled out of $10,000. The numbers on her lotto ticket for the Mega Millions matched 4 of the five white balls, and she also matched the yellow power ball number. When she went to claim her winnings, the clerk told her she only won $3.

Luckily, the woman always signs her name on the back of her lotto tickets (Good idea!), so when the clerk tried to cash in the winning ticket, he was arrested. He has been charged with trying to cash in an altered lottery ticket. The four convenient stores that he owns have been suspended from selling lottery tickets. The woman has since received her winnings.

A Common Thread?

These stories and others like it seem to have a common thread. Middle Easterners typically own the shops where the scams are being carried out. It would be wrong to say that this is a just a mere coincidence; but, it would also be wrong to say that these sorts of crimes are committed solely by those from the Middle East.

It’s an unfortunate circumstance when you cannot trust even the store clerk who handles your lottery tickets. Yes, it could be tempting to have a winning lottery ticket in your hand, but the store receives some money for selling winning lottery tickets. Why be dishonest and potentially face big time legal troubles?

Greed is an ugly motivator. If there is one thing that can be learned from these stories is to be wary of who handles your lottery tickets. Take steps to ensure that you receive your winnings.

  1. Nelson
    They know its a winning ticket before it is even handed to you … do the switch with an already cashed out ticket I fear (could be wrong). Discovered from Asbury Missouri yesterday? Wow, I hope I am not a victim. Dang thing dings its a winner before you get the ticket in your hands to photo and sign. THE SWITCH is enabled by the ding 🙁

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  2. I need a great lawyer. My 3.2 million megabucks ticket was stolen by two store workers. I reported it to the state lottery in a letter but never got a reply. I signed my ticket so that is proof that I won. Oh, it happened 38 years ago. Can a great lawyer get me my winnings with interest? George Kaye

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  3. I got ripped off by a clerk Eileen Lilygren at OLD TOWN MARKET ORCUTT CA. and the owner Mark Steller helped her get away with it. She told me I didn’t win, I seen her lock my ticket in the register, then changed it to a dollar like that would make it better. WRONG and old Steller lied about everything to cover it up Mark Steller knows the truth and knows an INVESTIGATION will show all his lies Now his little buddy is on the internet telling everybody she won the lottery and talking about her lucky lottery numbers. MARK STELLER YOU LIED TO SAVE YOUR OWN NECK I WANT YOU OUT OF MY TOWN we no longer want your dirty little store here STAY AWAY FROM THIS STORE ITS A RIPOFF

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  4. Take pictures of your ticket front and back after you sign them, people! How can you just hand into a stranger millions of dollars before taking any precautions?! I’d go to the store with a camera and recording device if I were you. So sad! And stupid.

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  5. This happened to me in 2009 or 2010. I had all numbers except the Powerball and the clerk said big won, but only gave me $100. How can I get the Powerball winning owed to me? Please help!

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  6. What do you do if this happened to you? It happened to me when I lived in Atlanta, GA I called the lottery commission in Atlanta I was told “if I did know what day it was on or the number at bottom of the ticket, there’s nothing they could do for me” I even told them I New the first two lines I’d been playing the same two lines of numbers plus three quick picks since I started playing. No help!

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  7. These kind of stories don’t surprise me at all! I’m sure there are many more victims.

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  8. After a clerk checked my ca. lottery ticket she locked it in the register said it didn’t win so I ask questions she got mad and said OK YOU WON A DOLLAR ALRIGHT!!! She could not even look at me and stopped talking like I was not even there and would not open that register she had stolen my ticket. Still don’t know the ending yet.

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  9. I have a stolen lottery ticket, but no one believes me. It was the store manager that took the ticket. Is she cooking the books? Because when the lottery commission ran the report that ticket wasn’t on there yet a ticket that posted on the lotteries website 4 days later was cashed at a different location. I did sign the ticket, but it is attached to my bank acct. Help.

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  10. I had a £6.9 million winning EuroMillions lottery ticket stolen from me in 2007. It is still reported as an unclaimed Devon lottery ticket. If you would like a fuller account of my tale let me know. The local papers will not touch my tale and the folks at the lottery whom I complained to this year after their helpline also failed to respond has also acted most erratically and eventually instructed me to contact the Police which I have done.

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