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Lottery win bad news for gas station employees

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Lottery win bad news for gas station employees
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Store owner allegedly sold winning lottery ticket, fired staff to avoid sharing commission

WADSWORTH, Ill. — Selling the winning lottery ticket turned out to be unlucky for four employees at the gas station that sold the $25.5 million ticket Jan. 3.

The employees, a former manager and three cashiers, allege that they were fired because the Wadsworth Mobil owner did not want to share the one percent commission he received for the winning ticket.

"I'm kind of sorry we sold the winning ticket only because it cost everybody their job," said former cashier Sandy Creamer.

Former manager Sabu Elvumkll of Park Ridge met with the owners on behalf of the cashiers to ask that some of the $255,000 commission be shared with the other employees.

Shortly after this meeting, Elvumkll and the other employees were let go.

The commission is paid to the gas station owner six to eight weeks after the winning ticket was sold, said Illinois Lottery spokeswoman Laura Lehmann.

"Whoever is the owner of that store would receive that one percent. Whatever they decide to do with that money is up to them," Lehmann said. "Most do put it into revitalizing their retail location."

She added that while many also share with their employees, they are under no obligation to do so.

Wadsworth Mobil owner Jose Mathew of Elmhurst said he lost about $200,000 from the land's high rent.

"God gave me the gift to cover the loss to pay back a credit card," Mathew said.

He added that he felt no obligation to share the commission with any of the employees.

Mathews said he fired Elvumkll because he was short of inventory, and said he fired the cashiers for failing to show up to work with a new manager.

The former employees all tell a different story and say it's strange that all the staff involved with the winning lottery ticket sale were replaced.

Creamer, who worked there for about nine months, said she and the others never missed a day. The cashier job was her second job, which was necessary for her to supplement her income after her husband passed away.

"I think everybody was treated unfairly — it all stems from greed," Creamer said.

Like Creamer, former cashier Donn'ye Watkins of Waukegan showed up for work last weekend and was told he wasn't needed any more. "I asked if all this was about the lottery (and) was told not to worry and that we have someone to replace you," Watkins said.

Elvumkll was taken aback at the inventory charge. He poured his own money into stocking the store when he took over its management, Watkins and Creamer said.

They added that they all ran the store and that the owner was rarely around.

"(The owner) is talking like that because he wants to fire everybody because he doesn't want to share the money," Elvumkll said.

Nasty business: four employees allege they were fired because the owner of this Wadsworth Mobil station didn't want to share his lottery bonus.
Nasty business: four employees allege they were fired because the owner of this Wadsworth Mobil station didn't want to share his lottery bonus.

Thanks to ThatScaryChick for the tip.

Lake County News-Sun

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66 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by DC81.
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fbird's avatar - nw archer.jpg
Fenton,Mi
United States
Member #1495
May 12, 2003
5421 Posts
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Posted: January 29, 2009, 11:14 am - IP Logged

The loyalty of owners ....never ceases to amaze me.....nor the absolute GREED !!!

VAL

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me: I may not follow.

Just walk beside me and be my friend.

          Albert Camus

    ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

    United States
    Member #56506
    November 21, 2007
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    Posted: January 29, 2009, 11:39 am - IP Logged

    This news story really makes me mad. There was no need to fire their employees. None. If they didn't want to give any employees any of the money they should have just said no. They didn't have to fire them. I hope the store owners lose a lot of business.  I don't believe for one second that all of the employees were doing such a bad job that they all needed to be fired at the same time. If they were all horrible employees why weren't they fired earlier? It all boils down to the owners being greedy.

    Mad

    "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
      mid-Ohio
      United States
      Member #9
      March 24, 2001
      17952 Posts
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      Posted: January 29, 2009, 12:20 pm - IP Logged

      Some clerks think they are more than just an employee getting paid a wage, they see themselves as partners in the business and are entitled to a share of its profits too.  I'm surprised they hadn't tracked down the winning ticket owner to claim their share of his winning too.
       
      Once they make it known that they thought they had been cheated out of money they thought they were entitled to, the store owner probably didn't trust them to run his business any longer and fired them.

      Lottery retailers should make it clear to their employees from the get go that they are not entitled to any of the profit made selling lottery tickets or to any of the winnings won by their customers.

      The other day I was buying some lottery tickets and a nosy customers ask me "what would be the first thing you would do if you won the jackpot?".  Since I didn't know him I was tempted to say "It's none of your business" but to be friendly I said "I hadn't thought about it" and the clerk said "the first thing he's going to do is give me my share for running these tickets for him".  I didn't say anything more, paid for my tickets and left.  I really felt that clerk jinxed me and customers shouldn't have to put up with that type of none sense when they buy lottery tickets. Mad

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

        Scott311's avatar - 311 logo01.jpg
        N.C.
        United States
        Member #59229
        March 9, 2008
        326 Posts
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        Posted: January 29, 2009, 12:39 pm - IP Logged

        Thats messed up!

          s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
          Hard Luck, Ak
          United States
          Member #23472
          October 13, 2005
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          Posted: January 29, 2009, 1:15 pm - IP Logged

          I know that this is not right, I wish no ill will towards the owner of the store but he should have done right by his employees. He could have offered 10,000.00 to each employee and still have over 200,000.00 to put back into the bussiness. I know that the lottery doesn't require that a employer share in the prize of selling a winning ticket but to me it's a no brainer. If I was the person who brought the winning ticket at the store and knew about the situation, I would offer something to the employees as a gesture of good will. Maybe Blagojevich can do something about this, Oh I forgot he is being impeached!

                                                                      No Nod

                    "WE MAKE A LIVING BY WHAT WE GET, WE MAKE A LIFE BY WHAT WE GIVE! "

                                                                               Sir Winston Churchill

            diamondpalace's avatar - Untitled 2.jpg
            Dallas, TX
            United States
            Member #60284
            April 12, 2008
            3856 Posts
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            Posted: January 29, 2009, 1:19 pm - IP Logged

            That's just wrong. When a promiss is made those whom made it has to honor it. If the owner have any intelligence, he would share the commissioned as promissed, renovate the gas station with some of the money, and bring in more customers since the station already have some very happy workers. Now, words will spreads and that place will lose a lot of business. Gas stations think they have the only gas in town, or sell the only product, but really they don't. So if the customers don't like anything about the place, from product to the worker or the environment it self, they will go some where else. Now karma really going to get the owner.

              onenumber's avatar - swordgirl
              Chicago, IL
              United States
              Member #8354
              November 2, 2004
              1579 Posts
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              Posted: January 29, 2009, 1:29 pm - IP Logged

              I will, on occasion, give a clerk a few bucks but that's only because I like that person and want to give them a tip.  But, I feel no obligation to share my lottery winnings with them.   At the gas station where I go, the guy said to me, "have you cashed your ticket yet", and I said NO.  I had a winning ticket for $500 but that didn't mean he was entitled to any of it when I did cash it.  I give because I want to, not because you think I owe you.

              Why do people feel this way,..."and the clerk said "the first thing he's going to do is give me my share for running these tickets for him"....they are paid to be there to do a job, and if that includes running the lottery, then so be it. 

              I'm sorry that these people lost their job but why should they get a share of the commission.  Do they pay any of the bills associated with running that gas station?  If they do, then yes they should get a piece of the pie, but if not then it's like working anywhere else...you get paid for the job you do.

                ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

                United States
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                November 21, 2007
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                Posted: January 29, 2009, 1:33 pm - IP Logged

                I don't think the employees necessarily deserved any of the winnings. I do believe it's the winners/owners choice to decide if they want to give them anything. What I think is wrong is to fire everyone. If the owners didn't want to give them money, they should have just told them no. The employees shouldn't have been fired over it.

                "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #1
                  May 31, 2000
                  21592 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 29, 2009, 1:42 pm - IP Logged

                  I know that this is not right, I wish no ill will towards the owner of the store but he should have done right by his employees. He could have offered 10,000.00 to each employee and still have over 200,000.00 to put back into the bussiness. I know that the lottery doesn't require that a employer share in the prize of selling a winning ticket but to me it's a no brainer. If I was the person who brought the winning ticket at the store and knew about the situation, I would offer something to the employees as a gesture of good will. Maybe Blagojevich can do something about this, Oh I forgot he is being impeached!

                                                                              No Nod

                            "WE MAKE A LIVING BY WHAT WE GET, WE MAKE A LIFE BY WHAT WE GIVE! "

                                                                                       Sir Winston Churchill

                  Nice post, I agree! I Agree!

                  Any owner that does not share a little bit with their employess is completely wasting all the good will that comes with a big jackpot sale like that.

                  Instead of getting all the employees fired up about it, and instead of having good, free advertising for his gas station, the guy has brought about:

                  1. Angry ex-employees who have gone to the newspapers,
                  2. New employees who know they're expendable, and,
                  3. A disgusted public who like likely visit his station less often.

                  Nice job! No Nod

                   

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                    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                    mid-Ohio
                    United States
                    Member #9
                    March 24, 2001
                    17952 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: January 29, 2009, 1:54 pm - IP Logged

                    I don't think the employees necessarily deserved any of the winnings. I do believe it's the winners/owners choice to decide if they want to give them anything. What I think is wrong is to fire everyone. If the owners didn't want to give them money, they should have just told them no. The employees shouldn't have been fired over it.

                    Would you trust four minimum wage employees to run your business after they've convinced themselves that you have taken a quarter of a million dollars that they were entitled to?  I wouldn't.  Most of these type of businesses suffer a little lost even when employees don't complain, a few pops here, a six pack and a carton of cigarettes there, it adds up. 

                    When Kroger sold that MegaMillions winning ticket in Ohio a few weeks ago, they never had any thoughts of sharing it with the workers, management claimed they gave it all to local charities.

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

                      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                      Chief Bottle Washer
                      New Jersey
                      United States
                      Member #1
                      May 31, 2000
                      21592 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: January 29, 2009, 2:11 pm - IP Logged

                      Would you trust four minimum wage employees to run your business after they've convinced themselves that you have taken a quarter of a million dollars that they were entitled to?  I wouldn't.  Most of these type of businesses suffer a little lost even when employees don't complain, a few pops here, a six pack and a carton of cigarettes there, it adds up. 

                      When Kroger sold that MegaMillions winning ticket in Ohio a few weeks ago, they never had any thoughts of sharing it with the workers, management claimed they gave it all to local charities.

                      I think she was only saying that firing the employees was not good.  Employees get upset about things lots of times, but you can't go firing them just for being upset -- it's a human emotion.

                      It's the guy's choice what to do with his money, but if he had thrown them some bucks quickly (like another recent new story showed a store owner doing), he would probably have happy, productive employees, and a better reputation ... and a lot of money.

                       

                      Check the State Lottery Report Card
                      What grade did your lottery earn?

                       

                      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                        ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

                        United States
                        Member #56506
                        November 21, 2007
                        4664 Posts
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                        Posted: January 29, 2009, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

                        Would you trust four minimum wage employees to run your business after they've convinced themselves that you have taken a quarter of a million dollars that they were entitled to?  I wouldn't.  Most of these type of businesses suffer a little lost even when employees don't complain, a few pops here, a six pack and a carton of cigarettes there, it adds up. 

                        When Kroger sold that MegaMillions winning ticket in Ohio a few weeks ago, they never had any thoughts of sharing it with the workers, management claimed they gave it all to local charities.

                        Thank you Todd that is what I was saying. I don't see how firing the employees at this time was a good thing.

                        I don't know the employees, so I can't say whether I would trust them or not. But if they were so bad to begin with, they should have been fired earlier. It just stinks to fire them after the owners came into some money. It makes me wonder if the employees have a case for wrongful termination. Again, I am not saying the employees deserved any of the money, but it sure doesn't seem like they deserved to lose their jobs.

                        "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

                          Captain Lotto's avatar - CaptLotto
                          Jefferson City, MO
                          United States
                          Member #55250
                          September 20, 2007
                          97 Posts
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                          Posted: January 29, 2009, 2:46 pm - IP Logged

                          It's a shame.  Money sure can complicate things, but it's nothing that reasoned minds can't overcome. 

                          Chalk it up to life experience.  What goes around, comes around.

                          Captain Lotto

                          "Every day is a good day!"

                            Avatar
                            Baton Rouge
                            United States
                            Member #46441
                            September 10, 2006
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                            Posted: January 29, 2009, 4:08 pm - IP Logged

                            I think the employees were out of line for asking for the owner to share the money. He is under no obligation to them. Having said that i agree with whomever said he handled the situation terribly and it is probably going to affect his business.