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Florida officer unable to accept $1,000 lottery ticket gift

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Florida officer unable to accept $1,000 lottery ticket gift

Imagine if someone handed you a winning lottery ticket worth $1,000, but you couldn't spend it.  That's exactly what happened to a Holly Hill police officer.

A mystery woman handed the officer the ticket.

Investigator Chris Yates got a bittersweet holiday surprise as he worked an extra shift at a Holly Hill Publix.  A stranger handed him an envelope.

"Stuffed a folded up envelope into my left hand and said, 'Merry Christmas,' and walked away from me," Yates explained.

It turned out, in that envelope was a winning scratch off ticket worth $1,000.  It took Yates a few seconds to soak it all in.  Then he realized, he had to give it back.

"No matter if it's $5 or $1 million, I cannot accept anything," he said.

Yates tracked down the woman, who would not give him her name.  He said it was clear she wasn't taking it back.

"She said, 'If you can't accept it, give it to someone who can,'" Yates said.

That's exactly what he did. After calling his supervisor, Yates donated the money to the Angel Tree charity.  It's an organization that buys Christmas gifts for needy kids.

Yates said, this time of the year, everyone could use some extra money, but the kids can use it more than him.

"I know all the kids who are receiving gifts and stuff will appreciate everything she did," he said.

For now, the woman's identity remains a mystery.  Holly Hill said they have to follow policy, but they are touched by the gesture.

"It's not only a testament to Investigator Yates' honesty and ethics, but also speaks volumes to the high esteem that the community holds our agency and our officers," said Mark Barker, Holly Hill Police Department.

wftv

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17 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by Michael E. Port.
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s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
Hard Luck, Ak
United States
Member #23472
October 13, 2005
275 Posts
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Posted: December 14, 2006, 4:47 pm - IP Logged

Not to many people like that left in the world!, Most people (including police officers) would have not even thought twice about cashing that ticket. Kudos to him, I am sure he will be blessed for doing the right thing.

    justxploring's avatar - villiarna
    Wandering Aimlessly
    United States
    Member #25360
    November 5, 2005
    4461 Posts
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    Posted: December 14, 2006, 4:58 pm - IP Logged

    I agree that was honest, but he also would have lost his job had it been discovered that he accepted a gift.  I know that any people who work for the City of Naples will be immediately terminated if gifts (even a pizza or a bottle of wine) are accepted.  During a town meeting they discussed this and the feeling is that people are doing their jobs to serve the public and shouldn't expect to receive any more than their salaries and benefits. I remember growing up in Boston and every year we left a present for the mailman who, by the way, probably made more than my father. 

    For over 20 years I worked for a large packaging corporation and some companies had very strict rules about accepting any gifts, including a free meal. My boss used to treat me to the most incredibly delicious gourmet meal when he was in town visiting with those companies since he had to put something on his expense account report!  LOL  I don't eat lobster any more but I used to eat something called Lobster Savannah.  Then I'd get bananas foster ( full of rum!) for dessert and the waiter would serve it flaming at the table.  Now I live on Ramen noodles....and you wonder why I want to win the lottery? The good life is hard to forget.

      Avatar
      Coastal Georgia
      United States
      Member #2653
      October 30, 2003
      1866 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 14, 2006, 7:26 pm - IP Logged

      I agree that was honest, but he also would have lost his job had it been discovered that he accepted a gift.  I know that any people who work for the City of Naples will be immediately terminated if gifts (even a pizza or a bottle of wine) are accepted.  During a town meeting they discussed this and the feeling is that people are doing their jobs to serve the public and shouldn't expect to receive any more than their salaries and benefits. I remember growing up in Boston and every year we left a present for the mailman who, by the way, probably made more than my father. 

      For over 20 years I worked for a large packaging corporation and some companies had very strict rules about accepting any gifts, including a free meal. My boss used to treat me to the most incredibly delicious gourmet meal when he was in town visiting with those companies since he had to put something on his expense account report!  LOL  I don't eat lobster any more but I used to eat something called Lobster Savannah.  Then I'd get bananas foster ( full of rum!) for dessert and the waiter would serve it flaming at the table.  Now I live on Ramen noodles....and you wonder why I want to win the lottery? The good life is hard to forget.

      JXP, I agree -- once you've had a taste of the good life it is hard to forget--- hang in there, girl .

       I believe in Karma -- your good fortune will come. 

      Hopefully it won't be like mine: When my ship comes in I will most likely be at the airport......Eek

      DD

       

                                     

                    

       

       

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #10720
        January 23, 2005
        933 Posts
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        Posted: December 14, 2006, 9:16 pm - IP Logged

        Couldn't she have given it to him when he was off duty? He can't get any Christmas presents ever, no matter what, even from his family? Or who knows, maybe it was a booby trap and the woman was really an undercover investigator.

        You might be better off at the airport... it could be the next "Titanic".

          1977's avatar - flower2
          st. pete
          United States
          Member #6680
          September 3, 2004
          1226 Posts
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          Posted: December 15, 2006, 9:39 am - IP Logged

           A honest  cop !!!!!!


            United States
            Member #379
            June 5, 2002
            11296 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 15, 2006, 9:47 am - IP Logged

            Maybe the scratch game is annuity-only. I would NEVER accept such a ticket.

              fja's avatar - gnome1

              United States
              Member #91
              January 19, 2002
              11906 Posts
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              Posted: December 15, 2006, 12:49 pm - IP Logged

              Maybe the scratch game is annuity-only. I would NEVER accept such a ticket.

              Bang HeadBang HeadBang HeadBang HeadBang HeadBang HeadBang Head

              "Everybody has to believe in something...I believe I'll have another beer!"   = W.C.Fields                      

                Avatar
                Coastal Georgia
                United States
                Member #2653
                October 30, 2003
                1866 Posts
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                Posted: December 15, 2006, 12:58 pm - IP Logged

                Bang HeadBang HeadBang HeadBang HeadBang HeadBang HeadBang Head

                I Agree!  the old broken record just keeps on skipping and skipping and skipping and.......

                 

                                               

                              

                 

                 

                  Avatar
                  Delaware
                  United States
                  Member #30273
                  January 14, 2006
                  494 Posts
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                  Posted: December 15, 2006, 9:12 pm - IP Logged

                  Maybe the scratch game is annuity-only. I would NEVER accept such a ticket.

                  Perhaps we should simply ignore him when he trolls like this, then he might just stop or leave.

                    johnph77's avatar - avatar
                    CA
                    United States
                    Member #2987
                    December 10, 2003
                    832 Posts
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                    Posted: December 15, 2006, 11:43 pm - IP Logged

                    Chris Yates? Man of the year.

                    Blessed Saint Leibowitz, keep 'em dreamin' down there..... 

                    Next week's convention for Psychics and Prognosticators has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

                     =^.^=

                      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                      Wandering Aimlessly
                      United States
                      Member #25360
                      November 5, 2005
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                      Posted: December 17, 2006, 3:12 am - IP Logged

                      DoubleDown, I can't even swim!

                        Michael E. Port's avatar - walt
                        Dallas, Texas
                        United States
                        Member #3275
                        January 7, 2004
                        25 Posts
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                        Posted: December 17, 2006, 1:54 pm - IP Logged

                        While I admit, this officer was honest, I can't tell you that I would have done the same thing.  He could have kept the money and still be an honest cop in my books.

                        Too many of us follow the "Letter" of the Law and not the "Spirit" of the law. The whole reason public officials can not accept gifts for any reasons is to prevent bribes from being taken.

                        The woman had good intentions.  She was not asking the Officer to do anything, she did not give her name, she merely wanted to thank him for a job well done.  She wasn't asking for anything return.

                        If it had been me, I would have taken the ticket, told no one, and either spent it myself or given to my partner in life for them to spend. (If I had a partner) I would not have made a big deal over my honesty.  He could have still remained a good policeman and an honest person by not saying a word.

                        Money makes the best "Thank You" gift.

                         

                        Christmas Gift

                        Michael E. Porter

                                meporter@myway.com

                          MARS7878's avatar - animaniacs37
                          New Member

                          United States
                          Member #48272
                          December 19, 2006
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                          Posted: December 19, 2006, 11:52 am - IP Logged

                          I completely agree with Michael. The Police officer wasn't breaking any laws, If Mr. Yates wouldn't have told anyone this wouldn't be a story at all. People that know Officer Yates knows he is a Great Officer and an Great person before this. Next time Officer Yates keep the ticket, and continue to do your job being a Great Officer. God Bless you and your family.

                            Avatar
                            Delaware
                            United States
                            Member #30273
                            January 14, 2006
                            494 Posts
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                            Posted: December 19, 2006, 12:01 pm - IP Logged

                            It is stories like this that restore your faith in humanity.