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N.C. man charged with stealing $1M lottery ticket

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: N.C. man charged with stealing $1M lottery ticket
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By Todd Northrop

RALEIGH, N.C. — Less than two weeks after a North Carolina community college student smiled for the cameras and cashed in on a winning $1 million lotto ticket, police say it wasn't hers to claim.

"It's honestly just luck," Mikala Fields said as she accepted her prize July 2. "You actually can win."

But luck had nothing to do with it, according to a North Carolina Education Lottery investigation. The Lottery accused Fields of conspiring with her husband, Sean Mewherter, who works at the local Kangaroo Express and is accused of stealing the winning ticket.

Oak Island police have arrested Mewherter and charged him with larceny and possession of stolen goods over $100,000. The charges were announced by the N.C. Education Lottery.

Lottery officials said that after the award was announced, they were contacted by Mewherter's employer, Kangaroo Express in Oak Island, where he allegedly obtained the ticket. An investigation led to the charges and his arrest by police there.

"A lot of safeguards are in place to ensure lottery prizes are honestly won," Alice Garland, executive director of the NCEL, said in a statement Wednesday. "In this case, lottery players didn't get the chance they should have had to win that prize. So when the money is recovered it will be used as prize money in a future instant game."

No charges have been filed against Fields. When she accepted the prize, she opted for the after-tax lump sum, which rounded out to about $408,000. She told the lotto she planned to use the cash to buy a new home, a car and fund her nursing degree. Officials haven't said whether the couple managed to spend any of the cash before police intervened.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Lottery Post staff, sourced partially from AP

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91 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by rdgrnr.
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United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
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Posted: July 12, 2012, 11:40 am - IP Logged

By Todd Northrop

Less than two weeks after a North Carolina community college student smiled for the cameras and cashed in on a winning $1 million lotto ticket, police say it wasn't hers to claim.

"It's honestly just luck," Mikala Fields said as she accepted her prize July 2. "You actually can win."

But luck had nothing to do with it, according to a North Carolina Education Lottery investigation. The Lottery accused Fields of conspiring with her husband, Sean Mewherter, who works at the local Kangaroo Express and is accused of stealing the winning ticket.

Oak Island police have arrested Mewherter and charged him with larceny and possession of stolen goods over $100,000. The charges were announced by the N.C. Education Lottery.

Lottery officials said that after the award was announced, they were contacted by Mewherter's employer, Kangaroo Express in Oak Island, where he allegedly obtained the ticket. An investigation led to the charges and his arrest by police there.

"A lot of safeguards are in place to ensure lottery prizes are honestly won," Alice Garland, executive director of the NCEL, said in a statement Wednesday. "In this case, lottery players didn't get the chance they should have had to win that prize. So when the money is recovered it will be used as prize money in a future instant game."

No charges have been filed against Fields. When she accepted the prize, she opted for the after-tax lump sum, which rounded out to about $408,000. She told the lotto she planned to use the cash to buy a new home, a car and fund her nursing degree. Officials haven't said whether the couple managed to spend any of the cash before police intervened.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Wonder how they conspired to find that winning ticket to begin with? What busy little bees they were.

 

No more honey for them. No No

    Avatar
    North Brunswick NJ
    United States
    Member #39013
    May 8, 2006
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    Posted: July 12, 2012, 12:01 pm - IP Logged

    Who did the winning ticket belong too ?What?

      rock_nc's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg
      small town USA
      United States
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      October 8, 2003
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      Posted: July 12, 2012, 12:04 pm - IP Logged

      I was wandering how he knew it was a winning ticket..

        time*treat's avatar - radar

        United States
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        March 30, 2005
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        Posted: July 12, 2012, 12:17 pm - IP Logged

        Did someone try micro-scratching?  No No

        In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
        Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

          LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
          British Columbia
          Canada
          Member #116105
          September 4, 2011
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          Posted: July 12, 2012, 12:43 pm - IP Logged

          "You have to be in it to win it!"


            United States
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            May 25, 2011
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            Posted: July 12, 2012, 12:48 pm - IP Logged

            Smash    LOL


              United States
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              May 25, 2011
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              Posted: July 12, 2012, 12:58 pm - IP Logged

              I was wandering how he knew it was a winning ticket..

              Let the conspiracy theories begin.

               

                mrylndw's avatar - Lottery-001.jpg
                Pennsylvania
                United States
                Member #127445
                May 1, 2012
                63 Posts
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                Posted: July 12, 2012, 2:07 pm - IP Logged

                ....oh, the deviousness of some people!Let It All Out

                  Avatar
                  ozone park
                  United States
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                  December 15, 2007
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                  Posted: July 12, 2012, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

                  How were they caught? I am confused how they knew it was a false win????

                    RedStang's avatar - Malsingha
                    Peter Patel is innocent.
                    United States
                    Member #121966
                    January 21, 2012
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                    Posted: July 12, 2012, 2:17 pm - IP Logged

                    Smart store owner. The commission isn't worth ruining your business reputation.

                      maringoman's avatar - kobold
                      Massachusetts
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                      April 14, 2006
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                      Posted: July 12, 2012, 3:39 pm - IP Logged

                      I was wandering how he knew it was a winning ticket..

                      I suspect that NC-EL is not about to reveal it right now. In the courts though the lottery commission will have to present its evidence to the judge and jury.

                      If it is a case of stealing a winning ticket from a customer then the lottery commission can rest easy. If its the infamous "micro scratching" then its a nightmare for the lottery commission because of all the publicity.  Firstly, many dishonest and or underpaid store clerks nationwide will be tempted to do it seeing that these two almost got away with it. 

                      Its going to be interesting to see how it unfolds.

                      It's a futile effort.

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                        kings mountain
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                        Posted: July 12, 2012, 5:38 pm - IP Logged

                        Let the conspiracy theories begin.

                         

                        that person probably knew somebody at the ncel and they knew where the ticket was going and the ticket number. does that seem farfetched in today's society?


                          United States
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                          Posted: July 12, 2012, 5:39 pm - IP Logged

                          Did someone try micro-scratching?  No No

                          If that was the case (If the N.C. lotto decides to reveal this publicly), hope that doesn't start a widespread trend among crooked clerks to go having

                          a field day at our expense.   Bat

                           

                          If this is becoming an epidemic, might be time for the scratchers to be re-designed to make then tamper proof.  Idea


                            United States
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                            Posted: July 12, 2012, 5:46 pm - IP Logged

                            that person probably knew somebody at the ncel and they knew where the ticket was going and the ticket number. does that seem farfetched in today's society?

                            Not at all. An inside job actually seems very plausible pick4master. That being the case, it seems only logical that the NCEL "mole" Beaver , was also

                            promised a piece of the action.

                             

                            The plot thickens!  Leaving