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Clerk tricks lotto winner, pockets money

California LotteryCalifornia Lottery: Clerk tricks lotto winner, pockets money
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A man who went to a 7-Eleven in Roseville, Calif., to check on his lottery tickets had picked the right numbers, but state officials said it was the clerk who almost hit the jackpot.

The female clerk told the customer he won $4 on his Mega Millions picks for Aug. 14, and then pocketed his winning ticket worth $555,000, California Lottery officials said.

However, the clerk's alleged scheme fell apart after the unnamed victim became suspicious and called lottery officials.

Rajinder Kaur, 40, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of grand theft, and the ticket was recovered, officials said.

Donald Currier, the lottery's chief legal counsel, said it was the second time in two years that a retail clerk had been arrested for allegedly stealing a winning ticket.

"To any clerks out there who think they can steal a winning ticket, we'll get you," Currier said. "Clerks just don't get away with it."

Kaur was booked into the Placer County jail in Auburn, Calif. on suspicion of grand theft. She was released on $50,000 bail.

Currier said the customer whose ticket was stolen was unaware he'd won more than half a million dollars when he went to the store Aug. 16.

The man, who officials said has a language barrier, purchased five sets of numbers at the 7-Eleven market two days earlier and had used his own numbers to play.

"He knew he had some winning numbers, but he didn't know how much he had won," Currier said.

The winning Mega Millions numbers that week were 5, 8, 9, 24 and 34, all of which the man had selected. Had he also hit the Meganumber of 17, he would have won $122 million.

He handed his winning ticket to the clerk to run through a validation machine to determine the amount won, Currier said.

However, after running the ticket, Kaur told the man, "You've won four dollars," and paid him that amount, Currier said. The attorney said Kaur kept the winning ticket, apparently with designs to cash it later.

Currier said that in the ensuing days, the victim saw news reports about the prize money being unclaimed and that the winning ticket had been purchased at the 7-Eleven in Roseville.

He also kept looking with confusion at the winning numbers, knowing he had played them, the attorney said.

On Tuesday, the man called the lottery office, which referred his complaint to its security and law enforcement division.

Working with Roseville police, the lottery agents, who are sworn peace officers, went to the store to investigate, Currier said.

"They interviewed people, collected evidence, arrested the clerk and recovered the ticket," he said.

If convicted of grand theft with an enhancement based on the high dollar amount, Kaur could face up to four years in state prison, Currier said.

Lottery officials are not yet releasing the name of the victim.

They said the investigation has not concluded and that lottery agents want to make sure the man is the rightful owner of the ticket.

"We believe that this is the guy," Currier said. "But we want to make absolutely sure. Once we finish the investigation, we will release the money."

Officials estimate the man will receive $416,000 after taxes.

Currier said the California Lottery encourages players to sign the backs of their tickets as soon as they purchase them.

"That would prevent fraud if they lose a winning ticket or if someone steals it," Currier said. "The thief will have a much harder time cashing it."

If the ticket is altered in any way after being signed, an investigation would be launched so that the rightful owner could be identified, he said.

Cathy Doyle Johnston, a spokeswoman for the lottery, said retail locations cannot redeem any cash prizes over $599.

If a lottery player believes he or she has won a prize of $600 or more, they are encouraged to contact the California Lottery or one of its district offices, she said.

Scripps Howard News Service

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38 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by fja.
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Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
Indiana
United States
Member #48725
January 7, 2007
1955 Posts
Online
Posted: September 7, 2007, 10:32 pm - IP Logged

This is why I check my numbers on the internet. Doesn't excuse the clerk. That was a cheap move on her part. I hope more retailers start using self scanners so people can check their tickets themself.

Gonna win.Big Smile

    TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
    A long and winding road
    United States
    Member #17084
    June 10, 2005
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    Posted: September 7, 2007, 10:46 pm - IP Logged

    The self scanners only lets a person know if the ticket is a winner or not. Doesnt give the value of win.

    I personally think the person should have to sign a slip that prints out showing the ticket value. Sorta a cash receipt that saves from fraud or dupe'n a lottery player.

    ~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

    christmas holly jolly numbers: 255,303,6911, 474,477 silver:47,gold:79.

      tnlotto1's avatar - logo
      nashville
      United States
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      February 18, 2007
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      Posted: September 7, 2007, 11:14 pm - IP Logged

      This is why I check my numbers on the internet. Doesn't excuse the clerk. That was a cheap move on her part. I hope more retailers start using self scanners so people can check their tickets themself.

      i have used the self scanners in georgia and kentucky but i havent seen them in tennessee. in kentucky they show how much i won but in georgia it just said i had a winner and to see the clerk. my largest winner was maybe $10 so im not sure if they would show the larger tier amounts or just tell you to go to the lottery office to claim. im glad they caught this thief.

        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
        Wandering Aimlessly
        United States
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        November 5, 2005
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        Posted: September 7, 2007, 11:27 pm - IP Logged

        Probably most clerks are honest, but it's unfortunate when this happens.  I might be naive, but I can't imagine any of the nice people who work at Publix stealing money from me.  However, I would never check my numbers at a store.  It's not because I distrust the people at Publix, but because anything can go wrong when a ticket is scanned. 

        Had he not played his own numbers, the real winner might not have realized he had been cheated.

          SoBe Yourself's avatar - lizard3
          New Member
          Baltimore
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          September 5, 2007
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          Posted: September 7, 2007, 11:33 pm - IP Logged

          See signature below.

          "Greed makes people do strange things."

          -classic Peanuts cartoon strip

            jeffrey's avatar - moon
            Hamilton, OH
            United States
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            March 27, 2004
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            Posted: September 8, 2007, 1:07 am - IP Logged

            Welcome to America___'s jails. A curse upon all clerks who steal winning lottery tickets. Maybe the stealing hand will have a little choppy choppy action in prison. Without self check machines, it can happen to anyone. I am sick of hearing about this. Max prison sentence please.

              LANTERN's avatar - kilroy 28_173_reasonably_small.jpg
              Tx
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              Posted: September 8, 2007, 2:19 am - IP Logged

              If people new better and enough they would not do that to them, at least he knew enough to call the lottery people.

              From what I have heard and seen, a lot of people lose their lottery winnings in this way, very many players don't know enough to check their own tickets, if they did, it would give the clerks some relief and they (The players) would get to keep their money, everybody would win, but that of course will never happen.

              BibleOnline  ParishesOnline  ChristianRadioOnline   MassOnline   Mass

              "Ten measures of beauty descended to the world, nine were taken by Jerusalem."

                mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

                United States
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                October 21, 2005
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                Posted: September 8, 2007, 2:34 am - IP Logged

                Welcome to America___'s jails. A curse upon all clerks who steal winning lottery tickets. Maybe the stealing hand will have a little choppy choppy action in prison. Without self check machines, it can happen to anyone. I am sick of hearing about this. Max prison sentence please.

                I Agree!.  I also think that the ticket check ed come with a  with a receipt of the amount won,  is a good idea.  And also, to protect the customer, it should be illegal to check an unsigned ticket.  It will protect the bearer of the instrument in the long run.  I have seen many unscrupulous clerks.  Some have tried to take advantage of me!  My health has declined rapidly and I look it often.  And when the question comes up tip a clerk, my answer is, are you kidding???!!!!!!Let It All Out

                  dumars798's avatar - batman17
                  Atlanta
                  United States
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                  December 20, 2005
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                  Posted: September 8, 2007, 2:35 am - IP Logged

                  JAIL JAIL JAIL IS HER NEW

                  BIG HOUSE!

                          Smart bets...... Equal Phat Pocket$!

                                       

                               





                    gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
                    ONEONTA,NEW YORK
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                    January 17, 2006
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                    Posted: September 8, 2007, 8:35 am - IP Logged

                    yes.i'm with dumars............jail the ''s,o,b,'' or deport her

                      dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

                      United States
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                      September 17, 2003
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                      Posted: September 8, 2007, 9:34 am - IP Logged

                      This problem is hardly new and goes on more often than this arrest would indicate. Look at what they had to do in Canada. All of it can be avoided by checking tickets on the internet first.

                        Avatar
                        Baton Rouge, LA
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                        May 7, 2004
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                        Posted: September 8, 2007, 10:39 am - IP Logged

                        This is an example of why you should check your own numbers. In Louisiana, we can check them on the Internet or by calling the Lottery Information Line, a phone number with a recorded message of the winning numbers. Louisiana also has the online Club Lotteaux, which will Email all the winning numbers to members the next day.

                        For Powerball, the numbers are usually on Powerball.com within 30 minutes of the drawing, so I usually check those right away.

                        This doesn't excuse what the clerk did and he should serve time for it, but lottery players should use whatever method they have available to check the numbers themselves.

                        Prisoner Six

                        "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

                          tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

                          United States
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                          Posted: September 8, 2007, 10:54 am - IP Logged

                          In Ky the self scanner in the store shows how much the ticket is worth.....

                            Silver Spring
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                            December 31, 2005
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                            Posted: September 8, 2007, 11:14 am - IP Logged

                            Do the machines work the same in every state? In MD the clerk scans the ticket and a reciept on lottery stationary pops out with the correct amount on it. You're then get that and the cash.

                             I alwasy check mine online and write what it's worth on th back of the ticket. Even if I don't check online I don't let the clerk keep the on winning ticket.