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Lottery winner shortchanged by store

Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Lottery winner shortchanged by store
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Man paid $1,500 on $4,000 scratch ticket

The lottery machines and scratch tickets were pulled from Kirsch Liquors in Worcester, Massachusetts, last month, after a man was scammed there when he received only $1,500 on a $4,000 winning scratch ticket, a state Lottery Commission official said.

The Lottery Commission will file a decision by the end of the month on whether to suspend the store's lottery license for 30 days or indefinitely.

Damaso Vasquez told Lottery Commission authorities he bought a $1 ticket from the store at 646 Main St., and when he found it was a winner, he took it back to the store on Sunday, according to Lottery Commission spokeswoman Beth A. Bresnahan.

Mr. Vasquez said someone at the store gave him $1,500 and took the ticket. Mr. Vasquez became suspicious, however, once he learned that winning scratch tickets worth $600 or more cannot be redeemed in stores and must be taken to a Lottery Commission regional office, Ms. Bresnahan said.

The scratch ticket winner filed a complaint at the Lottery Commission's office in the city on April 3 and an investigation was immediately started, resulting in the removal of all lottery tickets and lottery machines from the store.

"They were suspended immediately once the claim was filed," Ms. Bresnahan said.

The winning Wild Cherries ticket was cashed and the person who cashed it in told investigators he was paid by the store's owner, Robert Kirsch, to cash it, Ms. Bresnahan said. The man who cashed in the ticket was a former employee of Kirsch Liquors, she said.

By coincidence, Kirsch is the German word for "cherry."

The state Lottery Commission's Web site places the odds of winning the $4,000, the highest prize on the ticket, at 1 in 144,000.

Mr. Kirsch said today he had no comment after serving a man who asked whether there were scratch tickets available, only to have the owner shake his head no. Mr. Kirsch then said a former employee was responsible for the scam, and said the employee was fired before the ticket scandal.

When asked how a former employee could get behind the counter of the store and scan the ticket into a lottery machine, Mr. Kirsch responded, "That's a story for another day."

Ms. Bresnahan said the Lottery Commission has records of scratch ticket transactions, and traced the winning ticket's history to the liquor store.

"We have records of all transactions," she said. "We know where a ticket was sold from and where it was scanned."

For tax purposes and because most stores do not have the cash on hand to pay out big winners, all scratch tickets that win $600 or more must be cashed at regional Lottery offices. All stores selling tickets are aware of the rules, Ms. Bresnahan said.

Mr. Vasquez filed a claim to recover the winnings and the commission will make a decision during a hearing how he will be paid. The commission can only pay out a prize once, she said, noting the ticket was later cashed in for the full prize.

Kirsch Liquors had an April 26 hearing before a Lottery Commission board, and the board has 30 days to make a decision on the method of payment for Mr. Vasquez and what, if any, action to take against the store.

In January 2004, a Westboro resident was duped by a gas station clerk in Westboro out of her winning $20,000 ticket. Erika R. Schmitt, a college student, purchased a $2 winning Lucky Stars ticket Jan. 18, 2004, from clerk Antoine Y. Reiche at the Getty Mart at 11 Milk St. Ms. Schmitt was unsure whether she had won the big prize and showed it to Mr. Reiche, who snatched it from her, saying it was worth only $100, and paid her cash from the store's register.

The college student complained to police and Mr. Reiche was charged with larceny of property worth more than $250. Mr. Reiche admitted to stealing the ticket in court and was ordered to write a letter of apology to Ms. Schmitt. He also received one year of probation and was ordered to pay fines.

Ms. Schmitt received a check for $14,000, which was how much the winnings were after taxes, from the state Lottery Commission a few months after the incident. The store's lottery license was suspended from Jan. 23, 2001, to Feb. 10, 2001, and reinstated quickly because there was proof the owner wasn't involved in the theft of the ticket.

Worcester Telegram

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11 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by Cr4zyH0rs3.
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detroit/michigan/usa
United States
Member #12322
March 11, 2005
36 Posts
Offline
Posted: May 3, 2007, 8:17 am - IP Logged

I say check the rules yourself, sign ticket and make a copy verify your ticket against what constitutes a winner.  Are you really in that big of a hurry?  And these attendants, and lottery operators......I don't know what to say.  I guess trust is like a secret.....Its only guranteed when you limit it to your self!

    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
    mid-Ohio
    United States
    Member #9
    March 24, 2001
    19817 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: May 3, 2007, 10:02 am - IP Logged

    Some clerks will take advantage of customers who don't know all the rules of a lottery games. 

    Once when Ohio was promoting a lottery game with a free QP with every $5 ticket purchased I had to remind a clerk the free ticket was for me the customer and not for her, she had been keeping the free QPs for herself when customers didn't know about the promotion.

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

      LuckyLilly's avatar - savy chick.png

      United States
      Member #50124
      February 26, 2007
      601 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: May 3, 2007, 12:46 pm - IP Logged

      Some clerks will take advantage of customers who don't know all the rules of a lottery games. 

      Once when Ohio was promoting a lottery game with a free QP with every $5 ticket purchased I had to remind a clerk the free ticket was for me the customer and not for her, she had been keeping the free QPs for herself when customers didn't know about the promotion.

      I hope you turned her in to the lottery commission.  If more get caught and punished, maybe it would deter at least a others from even trying it.

        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
        mid-Ohio
        United States
        Member #9
        March 24, 2001
        19817 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: May 3, 2007, 3:32 pm - IP Logged

        I hope you turned her in to the lottery commission.  If more get caught and punished, maybe it would deter at least a others from even trying it.

        No I didn't but I later told the store owner who found out she was also stealing from the store and fired her.  The store owner should have expected as much since she was trying to run a small store paying her employees less than they could make at Wal-Mart two blocks away, she was only getting people that no one else would hire.  Her store later went out of business.

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

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #10720
          January 23, 2005
          933 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: May 3, 2007, 10:39 pm - IP Logged

          Usually a few certain stores (name withheld) are Fast to see me as a Mark and they add a few dollars to my Lottery total. The problem at this Store is it's hard to see the readout on the Lottery terminal. Be careful at such a place! When you validate a ticket READ THE TERMINAL WINDOW and KNOW the game you're playing so you KNOW what the prize should be and make SURE it matches their readout. In this situation nothing got scanned or entered and that ALONE should be highly suspicious.

            JAP69's avatar - alas
            South Carolina
            United States
            Member #6
            November 4, 2001
            8790 Posts
            Online
            Posted: May 3, 2007, 10:47 pm - IP Logged

            State lotteries should have undercover agents going around cashing winning tickets looking for these payout scammers.

              emilyg's avatar - cat anm.gif

              United States
              Member #14
              November 9, 2001
              31343 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: May 3, 2007, 11:06 pm - IP Logged

              I say check the rules yourself, sign ticket and make a copy verify your ticket against what constitutes a winner.  Are you really in that big of a hurry?  And these attendants, and lottery operators......I don't know what to say.  I guess trust is like a secret.....Its only guranteed when you limit it to your self!

              I Agree!

              love to nibble those micey feet.

               

                                           

                Avatar
                MI
                United States
                Member #20229
                August 14, 2005
                59 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: May 4, 2007, 7:44 am - IP Logged

                If an employee is the one doing this then suspend the store for 30 days. If the owner is involved, pull the tickets and machines permanently. 

                If I ever found out a store I was buying lottery tickets in was doing this, they would never see me again. 

                  spy153's avatar - maren

                  United States
                  Member #28409
                  December 15, 2005
                  1198 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: May 4, 2007, 7:56 am - IP Logged

                  State lotteries should have undercover agents going around cashing winning tickets looking for these payout scammers.

                  now there's a job I could sink my teeth into....

                  voir-vous dans mes reves!Cool

                    Avatar
                    New Member

                    United States
                    Member #45938
                    August 31, 2006
                    1 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: May 7, 2007, 12:04 pm - IP Logged

                    Rest assure we are out there ....but we can't get to them all.  If you think you were scammed call the Lottery in your state and make a complaint.

                      Avatar

                      United States
                      Member #52552
                      May 29, 2007
                      55 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: June 2, 2007, 1:55 pm - IP Logged

                      All I know is that those stories are very true to the fact, there is a store here I'm not naming any names though they have like all these winnings posted but you know what when I ask around to the regs that go there none of them respond to those winnings. I don't purchase alot of scratch offs but when I do I go to the machines instead.

                      Had far much better luck from a machine than human.