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New York Lottery won't pay $25,000 for taped-up scratch-off ticket

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: New York Lottery won't pay $25,000 for taped-up scratch-off ticket
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Woman plans to file lawsuit against the lottery

By the time lottery officials told Patricia Manzitto that her winning ticket was a fake, she already had spent nearly half the $25,000 she thought she'd won.

But when Manzitto went to collect her winnings four days later, officials at the New York Lottery's Garden City center told her that it looked as if her ticket had been forged by taping two halves of different tickets together. Lottery officials refused to pay up.

Manzitto, 64, of East Moriches, said the ticket had been cut in half when it came out of the machine. But the two sides looked like they fit together, so she taped them together.

On Oct. 5, Manzitto said she went to a Pathmark in Shirley, L.I., where she put $6 in a lottery ticket-dispensing machine and received three Blue Moon Bucks tickets.

The bottom half of one ticket was spit out unattached to the top half, said Manzitto, a paraprofessional at William Floyd HS.

Manzitto said she then took the tickets home to her husband, Salvatore, who scratched off the damaged ticket and saw it had two matching numbers — 13 — on either end, for a $25,000 prize.

"He said, 'Oh, my God! We won!' " Manzitto recalled. "Both of us are screaming and jumping up and down."

Manzitto was so excited she spent some of the prize money before she even tried to collect. She dropped $700 on more lottery tickets, put $3,000 down on a new Lexus and promised her grandkids $1,000 apiece.

But when Manzitto and her son went to the Lottery's Garden City office on Oct. 9 to collect, a supervisor who checked the taped-together ticket told her it was invalid.

"My heart just dropped," Manzitto said. Manzitto said she told the supervisor she was going to Pathmark to ask for tape from a surveillance camera above the machine, which she said would back up her story.

"He said, 'You really shouldn't go to Pathmark.' He said, 'I'm going to give it to an investigator, and they'll go to Pathmark,' " Manzitto recalled.

Manzitto's lawyer, Rosemarie Arnold, said an investigator never checked with Pathmark, and that as a result any footage of Manzitto's purchase may since have been taped over. Manzitto said the lottery officials "said my story sounded strange," implying that she might be trying to defraud them.

Patricia Manzitto of Long Island claims that these two halves of lottery tickets from one vending machine add up to $25,000 and plans to seek her winnings in a lawsuit.

Patricia Manzitto of Long Island
claims that these two halves of
lottery tickets from one vending
machine add up to $25,000 and
plans to seek her winnings in a
lawsuit.

"That's what's really got me so crazy," she said.

Now she says she wants her $25,000 — and her good reputation — back. At a news conference yesterday in State Supreme Court in Mineola, she said she plans to file a lawsuit against the New York Lottery within the week.

"I've spent my life trying to be an honest, upstanding, good person," she said.  "I started to cry," she said about being denied the payout. "I'm so frustrated."

But lottery officials weren't backing down yesterday.

John Charlson, director of communications for the New York Lottery, said many people try to cash in on taped-together tickets — enough that they have a form letter at the ready to explain to those people why they won't get their cash. He said the lottery doesn't pursue people they think have fraudulent tickets — but it doesn't pay up, either.

Charlson said the torn ticket was investigated and that the benday lines on the top half of the ticket are red and the bottom half lines are blue, which indicates that the ticket may have been manipulated.

Manzitto's lawyer, Arnold, doesn't dispute that the colored lines don't match, but argued that that is how the ticket was sold.

"When they tore that ticket, they tore up her dreams," said Arnold.

The New York Lottery was unmoved.

"This allegation is as silly as a bank customer saying she withdrew a hundred dollar bill from an ATM machine and Ben Franklin was on one half of the bill and George Washington was on the other half," said Charlson.

"It's the season for tricks and treats, and this one smells like a cheap trick," Charlson said. "At most, if the player thinks she's entitled to an award, it would be the two bucks she claims she spent on the bogus ticket."

The lottery reviews and investigates every claim, and cases, like the one presented by Manzitto, are so common that there is a form letter which advises manipulated tickets are not winners. In cases like Manzitto's the customer receives a letter that plainly states "ticket halves don't match."

The Blue Moon Bucks ticket. The back of the Blue Moon Bucks ticket.

Lottery Post Staff

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52 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by OldSchoolPa.
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Posted: October 23, 2007, 10:17 am - IP Logged

All they need to do is scan the barcode.If it matches,she wins.If it doesn't match,she loses and should be prosecuted.I've had tickets torn from those machines but never right down the middle.

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    New Jersey
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    Posted: October 23, 2007, 10:23 am - IP Logged

    The Ticket appears to be FAKE:

    A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

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      Posted: October 23, 2007, 11:32 am - IP Logged

      The "lawsuit" if not thrown out, will never be won. Time and time again, courts have upheld the notion that lotteries do not pay on non-winning, destroyed or altered tickets.

       

      I find the "machine tore the ticket" allegation to be suspect as well. Machines these days have "bursters" that press on the perforations between tickets - I don't think they could would cut through the middle of a ticket like that.

       

      What worries me most is the tone of the article. One of the main reasons Lotteries have security is to keep people from cashing bogus tickets - to keep the games fair. Though not perfect, I think most lotteries do a pretty good job. With a story like this one, the onus should definitely be on her to come up with a better claim. I mean, really - who goes out and spends all that money BEFORE they get paid? Do we want the lottery to have to pay just because someone was foolish?

        JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

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        Posted: October 23, 2007, 12:05 pm - IP Logged

        It is clearly a fake.  Notice the prize under the number 9.  Why isn't the $40.00 cut in half?

         

        Very sad story.  Unhappy

          RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
          mid-Ohio
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          Posted: October 23, 2007, 12:09 pm - IP Logged

          This ticket looks like a bad fake even to me, the winning number box  and the $40 have bottoms on both sides of the tear.  There seems to be some duplication on both sides of the tear on the half with the rules too.  That's just on the front, probably the back is even more obvious.

          Manzitto's lawyer, Arnold, doesn't dispute that the colored lines don't match, but argued that that is how the ticket was sold.
          "When they tore that ticket, they tore up her dreams," said Arnold.

          This women and her lawyer should do some jail time.  This is the kind of prank you try to pull on a friend or co-worker, not the state lottery.

          * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
          * your best chance to win a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
              Wink 

            Raven62's avatar - binary
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            Posted: October 23, 2007, 12:51 pm - IP Logged

            Wasn't their a News Item where someone altered a Lottery Ticket as a Joke?

            A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

              NITEHAWK61's avatar - wings2
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              Posted: October 23, 2007, 2:31 pm - IP Logged

              I am sure he scanned it.

              He was probably trying to give her a chance to backoff so she didn't go to jail.

              But she looks like she would be a pain in the butt and keep coming.

              it's fake!!!

              .

                numbergirly's avatar - 0002009C
                Dover, Delaware
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                Posted: October 23, 2007, 4:39 pm - IP Logged

                That's right and not only that but, you see the amount $40.00 and $10.00 under the number nine it is clearly a fraud and the lawyer has to be pretty dense not to see that himself.

                 

                                                                                                            numbergirly

                WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS   Ice Water 





                  tnlotto1's avatar - logo
                  nashville
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                  Posted: October 23, 2007, 5:07 pm - IP Logged

                  That's right and not only that but, you see the amount $40.00 and $10.00 under the number nine it is clearly a fraud and the lawyer has to be pretty dense not to see that himself.

                   

                                                                                                              numbergirly

                  i hadnt noticed that numbergirly you are right it is an obvious fraud when you look at that 40 and 10 part

                    justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                    Wandering Aimlessly
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                    Posted: October 23, 2007, 5:10 pm - IP Logged

                    Even if it isn't a fake and she is being sincere the following statement proves she's an idiot!

                     

                    "Manzitto was so excited she spent some of the prize money before she even tried to collect. She dropped $700 on more lottery tickets, put $3,000 down on a new Lexus and promised her grandkids $1,000 apiece "

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                      Posted: October 23, 2007, 5:18 pm - IP Logged

                      Not knowing if this is a fake or not, I have had an instant ticket cut off just like this from the machines.  It was a $40 winner and the agent said as long as the barcode was intact they coould pay it.  So for those that say it isnt likely to have a ticket cut off, it is possible.

                        tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

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                        Posted: October 23, 2007, 5:37 pm - IP Logged

                        The Blue Moon Bucks ticket. The back of the Blue Moon Bucks ticket.

                        This is clearly two different tickets ..  the first numbers to indicate it the ticket numbers.  Front says ticket number 228 and the back says ticket number  023... Maybe off same row, but definitely two different tickets.

                             OLD/Vtrac   Lottery Bible         Double Warnings      Thumbs Up TN F34/F44

                          TheGameGrl's avatar - p42a
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                          Posted: October 23, 2007, 5:41 pm - IP Logged

                          Not knowing if this is a fake or not, I have had an instant ticket cut off just like this from the machines.  It was a $40 winner and the agent said as long as the barcode was intact they coould pay it.  So for those that say it isnt likely to have a ticket cut off, it is possible.

                          Thank you Madmaxxx for chiming in. I sincerely thought it was a rare occurance to have tickets sliced incorrectly, but it DOES happen. My ten dollar ticket proved it over the weekend. The lady that came to the dispenser machine to undo the half eaten ticket said "Sure hope thats a winner because it was stuck in there and sliced up nicely!"...Reality was..it was a 20$ winner from the ten dollar ticket. And yes the cashier walked me up to the redemption counter so there wouldnt be any misunderstaning.

                          Luckily we have Letters that match out the winning ($20)TWTY or TWY have to appear on the ticket along with the bar codes and three digit code. THere are far too many security things to consider before trying to claim a winner.

                          Machines do make slicing mistakes.

                          All I could think of for this lady is "Dont count your chickens before they hatch". She truly shouldnt be near any gaming for a year or more. To bad one of the rules for claiming tickets isnt common sense. Foolishness never pays well.

                          ________________________________

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                            Posted: October 23, 2007, 5:46 pm - IP Logged

                            Wasn't their a News Item where someone altered a Lottery Ticket as a Joke?

                            Yes, there was.

                             

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