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Four contenders will vie for winning lottery ticket in court

PowerballPowerball: Four contenders will vie for winning lottery ticket in court

And the winner is ...

Nobody, yet.

Confusion over who purchased what ticket and when has three people — maybe four — and one corporation claiming ownership of Saturday's $1 million winning lottery ticket.

With the winner still in question, The Idaho State Lottery announced Thursday, it has turned the case over to the courts to determine who gets the dough.

Right now, the four main contenders for what would be $672,000 after taxes are: Michelle McCollough of Boise, a clerk at the Maverik Store at 8561 W. State St. in Boise where the ticket was produced; Maverik Store Manager Greg Dennler of Caldwell; Maverik clerk Christie Wade of Boise; and Maverik Stores Inc., a Wyoming company.

"We have the winning ticket. We have the million dollars. We want to pay someone," said Idaho Lottery Director Jeff Anderson at a news conference Thursday.

Idaho Deputy Attorney General Jeremy Chou filed a complaint Thursday on behalf of the Idaho State Lottery Commission with the state's 4th judicial district. There's no clear timeline of when the case could be settled.

Follow the money

The story of what exactly happened with Saturday's winning Powerball/PowerPlay ticket is a complicated one.

Wade, a Maverik clerk, printed the winning ticket for a customer early Saturday evening. But she mistakenly printed the wrong kind of ticket, and the customer returned it to the store in exchange for a different one.

To add to the confusion, there's at least one Treasure Valley man, Tom Park, 34, of Eagle, who said he believes he was the original purchaser of that ticket and is thinking of trying to claim the winnings.

Idaho lottery law states that once a ticket is printed - even in error - it becomes property of the store that printed it. It cannot be cancelled, but it can be sold to another customer until 7:59 p.m. the night of the drawing.

That didn't happen in this case, and on Sunday morning McCollough discovered the winning ticket when she came to work.

According to court documents, she checked the numbers and determined it was a winner. She then paid the store the price of the ticket and agreed to split the winnings with her manager, Dennler.

The winning ticket matched all five numbers - 14, 18, 34, 42 and 43 - but not the Powerball, 32.

The original ticket was bought with an extra $1 per play, to multiply the potential winnings by 5. That brought the ticket's value from $200,000 to $1 million.

McCollough and Dennler filed with the Idaho Lottery Monday morning to claim the winnings.

But on Wednesday, so did Wade, the clerk who mistakenly printed the ticket. Later that day, Maverik Stores did, too.

A lotto confusion

The Idaho Lottery started an investigation into the ticket and on Tuesday confirmed its authenticity.

Seeing they were faced with multiple claimants, however, lottery officials opted to absent themselves from any liability by turning the case over to the courts.

The lottery also signed the $1 million over to the Ada County Treasurer's Office, to be placed in an interest-bearing trust until the case is resolved. The winner also would get whatever interest accrues.

McCollough and Dennler were placed on paid administrative leave Thursday pending resolution of the case, said Maverik spokesman Brad Call.

"It was just such a distraction in the store and the press were all over the place and hey, we're trying to run a business," Call said.

Call said it's not unusual for a clerk to accidentally print the wrong ticket, and that Maverik has "eaten" the financial loss of those tickets on many occasions.

"We obviously are very confident that this ticket belongs to Maverik, as Maverik is and was the owner of the ticket at the time the game ceased," Call said.

Regardless of the outcome, Maverik will receive a $50,000 bonus for its part in producing the ticket, per lottery regulations.

Dennler and McCollough are being represented by Boise lawyers Curt McKenzie and Paul Augustine.

"At this point, we're just looking forward to the opportunity to make their claim and have their ownership affirmed by the court," McKenzie said.

Wade and her husband, Adam Wade, both declined to comment Thursday afternoon.

Another claim

Enter Tom Park of Eagle, who said he originally bought the winning ticket at the Maverik station on State Street. But he wanted 20 plays for $20, and the clerk instead printed out 10 plays with a multiplier, which also costs $20.

Park said he refused that ticket and instead took 20 new plays. But he said after he left the store he was hit with a feeling that he should have had that original ticket.

He said he went back into the store, stood in line and paid another $20 to get the original ticket back.

He said he doesn't think he got the right ticket though. He said the clerk gave him a different ticket that time around.

"I would like to see if it's possible for me to get the right ticket," said Park, an employee at Hewlett Packard. "That's what I had originally purchased and what I had paid to get back." Park said he plans to call the Idaho State Lottery, and will proceed from there.

"I felt like that was the ticket I was supposed to get," he said.

Idaho Statesman

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19 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by MegaWinner.
Page 1 of 2
Raven62's avatar - binary
New Jersey
United States
Member #17843
June 28, 2005
49642 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 17, 2007, 1:24 am - IP Logged

A Day in the Life of a Lottery Ticket!

This Ticket was returned to the Ticket Agent so many times, even the Judge won't be able to figure out who has a right to the Money!

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

    BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
    Dump Water Florida
    United States
    Member #380
    June 5, 2002
    3102 Posts
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    Posted: March 17, 2007, 1:53 am - IP Logged

    This case is simple. The ticket belongs to the company that owns the store. 

    Too bad the clerks or customer didn't buy it before it won, then they would own it.  To buy it after is stealing.  If the customer didn't know which ticket was his, he needed to buy all mistakes or accept the luck he got. 

    BobP

      Avatar
      MI
      United States
      Member #20229
      August 14, 2005
      59 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 17, 2007, 5:30 am - IP Logged

      I Agree!

      Unless the clerk can show that she regularly buys the misprints, trying to buy it after it is a known winner is wrong.

      The manager of the store could well lose his job also for trying to get a piece of the action. 

        fast eddie's avatar - lasvegas2
        Chicago,IL.
        United States
        Member #2902
        November 29, 2003
        1426 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 17, 2007, 8:23 am - IP Logged

        Lottery player: Never return a mistake ticket for a jackpot game since them clerk cannot void it. Because obviously you can't live with the consequnces.

        Lottery clerk: Checking these tickets the next day after the drawing is a nice way to play the lottery for free. Just make a few mistakes and check um later. If you don't win it doesn't cost you anything. But if you do win, buy the ticket and split the prize with your manager.

        "Money won is twice as sweet as money earned"

          RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
          mid-Ohio
          United States
          Member #9
          March 24, 2001
          19817 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 17, 2007, 9:24 am - IP Logged

          "Idaho lottery law states that once a ticket is printed - even in error - it becomes property of the store that printed it. It cannot be cancelled, but it can be sold to another customer until 7:59 p.m. the night of the drawing."

          That rule sounds clear to me, clerks can't print a bunch of mistakes, check them after the drawing, buy the winners and let the store pay for the losers.  If they could, a lot of lottery players would clerking for free.

           * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
             
                       Evil Looking       

            konane's avatar - wallace
            Atlanta, GA
            United States
            Member #1265
            March 13, 2003
            3333 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 17, 2007, 9:49 am - IP Logged

            This case is simple. The ticket belongs to the company that owns the store. 

            Too bad the clerks or customer didn't buy it before it won, then they would own it.  To buy it after is stealing.  If the customer didn't know which ticket was his, he needed to buy all mistakes or accept the luck he got. 

            BobP

            I Agree!

            Good luck to everyone!

              Avatar
              EAST COAST, USA
              United States
              Member #49428
              January 31, 2007
              553 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 17, 2007, 10:16 am - IP Logged

              This case is simple. The ticket belongs to the company that owns the store. 

              Too bad the clerks or customer didn't buy it before it won, then they would own it.  To buy it after is stealing.  If the customer didn't know which ticket was his, he needed to buy all mistakes or accept the luck he got. 

              BobP

              I agree completely.  Because the store owned the ticket at the time of the drawing.  And the store owner should have been given the option to sell the ticket to the cashier.  If the cashier wanted the ticket she should have bought it before the drawing and left with it.  But according to store policy it could only be sold to another customer.  Otherwise the store eats the cost as it usually does. 

               

              Insofar as everyone else claiming to have the wrong ticket.  Their loss completely.  It's your responsibility as the ticket purchaser to make sure you have the correct tickets before you leavethe store. People do make mistakes and quite often. 

              Soooooo.....a Pre-congratulations to the Company.

                liberal47's avatar - Rowlf
                Holt MI
                United States
                Member #2244
                September 4, 2003
                69 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 17, 2007, 10:17 am - IP Logged

                Makes me wonder, what would have happened here in Michigan. About a week ago I reached into my pocket and handed the clerk at my local store a group of bet slips, which I thought I had checked, I had neglected to remove one slip which I play 20 drawing at a time. The tickets were printed out, and when I noticed the mistake, the clerk told me that the store does not buy tickets that are printed in error. Well I ended up paying the twenty bucks, but in the past I have had clerks tell me that if I couldn't pay for the tickets or did not want to pay for the tickets, that they would try to sell them to other customers, or they would personally buy them. I've also seen clerks accidently punch the wrong button and print out over 100 tickets. Bottom line is they can't be cancelled so I believe in this state, the clerks would get the money. Good luck judge.

                  MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
                  Beautiful Florida
                  United States
                  Member #5709
                  July 18, 2004
                  20108 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 17, 2007, 10:26 am - IP Logged

                  MR.Parks " And the cash cow jumped over the moon "....

                  This case is definately simple, it belongs to the store period....!

                                                               

                                                                 "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "

                    Badger's avatar - adu50016 NorthAmericanBadger.jpg
                    Wisconsin
                    United States
                    Member #1303
                    March 27, 2003
                    1508 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 17, 2007, 7:44 pm - IP Logged

                    This case is simple. The ticket belongs to the company that owns the store. 

                    Too bad the clerks or customer didn't buy it before it won, then they would own it.  To buy it after is stealing.  If the customer didn't know which ticket was his, he needed to buy all mistakes or accept the luck he got. 

                    BobP

                    It does seem pretty clear cut.  If the lottery law says it belongs to the company, unless sold, it does seem simple. However, I wonder if the attorneys might bring up something about no law (if true in that state) against selling a winning ticket after it is known to be a winning ticket.

                    This could get confusing.

                    As far as the customer coming in on this later, I think legally he's out of luck.

                    ============

                    How can you tell if a politician is lying?

                    Answer: His lips are moving.

                      CCHS13's avatar - chi jpeg.jpg
                      Illinois
                      United States
                      Member #46704
                      September 23, 2006
                      3692 Posts
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                      Posted: March 17, 2007, 8:02 pm - IP Logged

                      Its the stores money, they dont need a judge to figure that one out.  The store has

                      to eat any loss on tickets printed that they cannot find a buyer for so therefore they

                      should eat the wins as well.  Slick clerk but not slick enough

                      Men Lie Women Lie Numbers Dont

                        MegaWinner's avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
                        New Jersey
                        United States
                        Member #50273
                        March 3, 2007
                        348 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 17, 2007, 9:17 pm - IP Logged

                        "Idaho lottery law states that once a ticket is printed - even in error - it becomes property of the store that printed it. It cannot be cancelled, but it can be sold to another customer until 7:59 p.m. the night of the drawing."

                        That rule sounds clear to me, clerks can't print a bunch of mistakes, check them after the drawing, buy the winners and let the store pay for the losers.  If they could, a lot of lottery players would clerking for free.

                        I am sure thats how it will play out.  The only excuse the clerk can make is that she paid the cash register the money early and bought the "misprint" then forgot to grab it before she left.  Then she can say she forgot that she paid the dollar already when she was excited that she won and paid the dollar again.  Sounds far fetched but hey, she could try to say that.

                          KyMystikal's avatar - 1457224010054
                          Florence, Alabama
                          United States
                          Member #8658
                          November 13, 2004
                          1993 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 18, 2007, 7:22 am - IP Logged

                          This case is simple. The ticket belongs to the company that owns the store. 

                          Too bad the clerks or customer didn't buy it before it won, then they would own it.  To buy it after is stealing.  If the customer didn't know which ticket was his, he needed to buy all mistakes or accept the luck he got. 

                          BobP

                          I Agree!

                           

                          I don't understand how everybody is able to try to cash in on the prize when there is only one ticket? 

                          I love doubles and remember, it's just a game!!!!!!

                            LuckyLilly's avatar - savy chick.png

                            United States
                            Member #50124
                            February 26, 2007
                            601 Posts
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                            Posted: March 18, 2007, 2:07 pm - IP Logged

                            One thing this article didn't make clear is that Maverik has a policy in it's employee handbook that the employee who made the mistake is financially responsible for reimbursing the store for the ticket.

                            Now, the Statesman article says Maverik Corporation claims to have eaten the cost on a great number of these tickets.  However, I remember going into a Jacksons store and a clerk begging me to buy a $5 ticket one of her customers had rejected.  She said her store required her to buy these tickets, and was nearly in tears, said she couldn't afford to buy another lottery ticket.  So, if the attorneys for the clerk who misprinted the ticket can prove that Maverik has ever required an employee to pay for a rejected ticket, I think that clerk may have a case.