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Lottery dream shattered for N.C. couple

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: Lottery dream shattered for N.C. couple
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Randolph and Sandra Whitehead planned to get out of their small house, buy a car they could depend on and pay their bills. After all, they had just won $250,000 in the North Carolina lottery.

But those dreams came crashing down when their road to riches took a sudden U-turn.

On May 1, Randolph Whitehead bought a scratch-off ticket at the Rocky Mount BP station on Centura Highway. They had the surprise of their lives.

"Me and her looked at it together," Randolph said. "I put on my glasses. She said, 'That's it, Randolph!'"

The matching numbers of the Lucky Times 7 ticket showed they won $250,000.

"And I held it and I held it and I held it and I held it," Sandra said. "I held the card so tight, I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head."

Afraid to rely on their old car, they took a cab to Raleigh. While at the Lottery Commission on May 2, the ticket was put through a computerized validation process. Nobody told the couple about the validation, Randolph said.

The husband-wife duo had their pictures made with the larger-than-life check. Before the third photo, they got the jolting news: The numbers didn't match.

"I said, 'Why did you take the ticket out of the room? Why didn't you let me know," Randolph said. "When you go to one of these stores, they validate the ticket right in your face."

According to Jerry Carter, director of security for the Lottery Commission, it was "an unfortunate misinterpretation and misunderstanding on the part of the player."

"A validation process takes several minutes," he said.

That's done after the winners fill out all their claims. But the computer scanner detected a discrepancy and did a secondary screening.

"We were able to determine that there was a microscopic piece of latex still on the lucky number area, and our prize analyst scraped that area and we were able to determine that the number 48 is in fact a 46," Carter said.

Cases like this are very rare, he said.

The commission sent the couple a letter: Verifying winning numbers "does not rely on eyesight," it said. The Whiteheads say the commission should have validated the tickets first, before all the photos and festivities.

"It was just snatched," Sandra said.

The lottery commission did agree to pay for the couple's $200 taxi fare.

The Whiteheads have tried to contact the Attorney General to help them in this case.

WRAL

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26 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by spy153.
Page 1 of 2
Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
Atlantic Mine, Michigan
United States
Member #416
June 23, 2002
1614 Posts
Offline
Posted: May 26, 2007, 10:58 am - IP Logged

Wow that would really suck.  Get all the pictures and claim forms filled out thinking you won a pretty good amount of money and a little scratch material remained on the number to make you think you won.  Ouch!

B-rad

    justxploring's avatar - villiarna
    Wandering Aimlessly
    United States
    Member #25360
    November 5, 2005
    4461 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: May 26, 2007, 11:02 am - IP Logged

    I really don't know what to say, except "huh?"  What?  This is not like the other story where the couple didn't even submit the ticket for validation.  The Whiteheads were already congratulated and pictures were taken!

     "We were able to determine that there was a microscopic piece of latex still on the lucky number area, and our prize analyst scraped that area and we were able to determine that the number 48 is in fact a 46," Carter said.

    Does this mean that nobody can rely on a winning scratch ticket unlesshe owns a microsope?

      weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
      Mcminnville, Oregon
      United States
      Member #3013
      December 13, 2003
      3052 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: May 26, 2007, 11:22 am - IP Logged

      Moral of this story is- "SCRATCH THE ENTIRE SCRATCH TICKET!"-weshar75

        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
        mid-Ohio
        United States
        Member #9
        March 24, 2001
        19830 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: May 26, 2007, 11:54 am - IP Logged

        After having had several close calls myself, when ever I think I've won a prize that's unusually large I recheck everything twice.  For scratch-offs that means totally cleaning off the latex and checking both the numbers and the text under each number to make sure they both agree.  Since I mostly play jackpot games that means also rechecking the drawing results too.  I've checked my tickets with the wrong drawing results and thought the clerk was pulling a fast one when told my $150 ticket was only worth $5. 

        The one time I won $1500, I even checked the lottery website so I knew what the retailer had to do and the retailer also knew before having my ticket verified.  I didn't want one of those "this is the first time for me so I will call the lottery to find out what to do"

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

          Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
          Clarksville
          United States
          Member #487
          July 15, 2002
          17638 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: May 26, 2007, 12:04 pm - IP Logged

          That is why I don't play scratch-offs very often..there is always that "room" for error and cheating..

          If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

          You never know when you will get another hit.

            chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

            United States
            Member #38687
            May 3, 2006
            315 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: May 26, 2007, 2:28 pm - IP Logged

            oooo thats so sad. At least they paid the taxi cab bill

            Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot

              Avatar
              md
              United States
              Member #14047
              April 20, 2005
              579 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: May 26, 2007, 4:38 pm - IP Logged

              oooo thats so sad. At least they paid the taxi cab bill

              These stories are occuring very frequently if you ask me.  Something is amiss!

                psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

                United States
                Member #4877
                May 30, 2004
                5123 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: May 26, 2007, 4:50 pm - IP Logged

                These stories are occuring very frequently if you ask me.  Something is amiss!

                another (1) bites dee dust

                No Pity!...................again and again and again AHhhhhh it hurt's

                Puke............so dam"BAd"

                LOL

                PSYKOMO

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
                  United States
                  Member #9
                  March 24, 2001
                  19830 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: May 26, 2007, 5:24 pm - IP Logged

                  These stories are occuring very frequently if you ask me.  Something is amiss!

                  Scratch-off tickets are designed to tease, lots of losing tickets are off by just one digit to encourage players to buy more tickets.  If every player who was off by just one digit was awarded $200 taxi fare, the lottery would go broke, this couple got lucky. 

                  Both the couple in Florida who hired a lawyer and this couple who's trying to contract the Attorney General want "close" to count as a win and it ain't going to happen.

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

                    Avatar
                    New Jersey
                    United States
                    Member #51734
                    April 22, 2007
                    22 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: May 26, 2007, 5:32 pm - IP Logged

                    But there was no cheating, they just got hasty and didn't stratch off the entire ticket.  I feel bad, but it wasn't the lotteries fault.  They shouldn't have given them the big check before it was validated though, duh!

                      psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #4877
                      May 30, 2004
                      5123 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: May 26, 2007, 6:49 pm - IP Logged

                      But there was no cheating, they just got hasty and didn't stratch off the entire ticket.  I feel bad, but it wasn't the lotteries fault.  They shouldn't have given them the big check before it was validated though, duh!

                      ThudSmashWhite BounceGuitarNo Pity!

                      wellcum the WORLD of SHO business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PartyPartyParty

                      Hurray!wellcum to the WORLD of LOTTO business!!!!!!!!!!

                      welcome 2 USofA

                      US FlagUS FlagWhite BounceWhite BounceWhite BounceUS FlagUS Flag

                      IF and only IF YOU R a CITIZEN of the USA.........let D LEADER's

                      KNOW>>>>>>>>WE DON't NEED ..........BOARDER PROTECTION!

                      THE more people THEY let into the USA increases D ODD$$$$$$

                      PSYKOMO will win >>>>JACKPOT$

                      LOL

                      PSYKOMO

                        Kidzmom's avatar - cold
                        NC
                        United States
                        Member #11741
                        February 23, 2005
                        1233 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: May 27, 2007, 12:55 am - IP Logged

                        The couple did get hasty....BUT....the lottery office should have validated and checked the ticket before all the photos and congratulations..Heck I would have thought I won too...lol

                          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                          Zeta Reticuli Star System
                          United States
                          Member #30470
                          January 17, 2006
                          10353 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: May 27, 2007, 2:22 am - IP Logged

                          It seems stories like this are happening more often.

                          Sends a real bad message to the playersand doesn't  put the lottery in a good light, not much better than carnival game operators bending the sites on the pellet guns so you can't shoot all of the 3 of Diamonds out.

                          Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                          Lep

                          There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                            Lkydeb*594's avatar - yummyxmascat
                            Luv Vtracs 8-)

                            United States
                            Member #38062
                            April 23, 2006
                            12587 Posts
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                            Posted: May 27, 2007, 3:15 am - IP Logged

                            That is why I don't play scratch-offs very often..there is always that "room" for error and cheating..

                            yep, I totally agree. I never play scratch-offs.