Sopranos' Vinny Vella fumes over $5M lotto misprint

Jun 20, 2008, 10:18 am (32 comments)

New York Lottery

Former The Sopranos star Vinny Vella is threatening legal action against New York state lottery officials after they rejected what he believes is his $5 million winning ticket.

The 61-year-old actor — who played Jimmy Petrille on the hit U.S. drama — purchased an Extravaganza lottery ticket last Thursday, June 12, at a New York store to be in with a chance of winning a share of the $500 million jackpot.

He was shocked to discover what he believed to be two sevens on the scratch ticket — which would have made him $5 million richer.

But Vella's good fortune was shortlived after officials at a state lottery office refuted his claims, insisting one of the sevens was actually a number 17.

Vinny VellaThe official also pointed out an abbreviation underneath the numeral to dispel any further queries.

However, Vella remains unsatisfied with the verdict and took the matter to lottery headquarters in Schenectady on Monday.

Experts enlarged a picture of the ticket and found a 'one' next to the seven, checking the barcode on the ticket to determine it was not a winner.

But Vella is now threatening legal action, fuming, "I will do everything I can until these people are down on their knees... I'm going to put the lawyers on it. Without a doubt. Without a doubt."

Lottery spokesman John Charlson is blaming a "rare" printing issue for the mix-up, admitting an ink problem affected 4,500 tickets, which have had to be withdrawn.

But Vella remains unsatisfied, promising to make an issue of the incident the local TV show he hosts and to carry protest signs in front of state lottery offices.

He adds, "If it's a misprint, it's not my fault. You know what I look like after telling everybody I won? I look like some big ass."

Post Chronicle, Lottery Post Staff



Maybe instead of calling in the lawyers he should ask Tony Soprono if he'll make the lottery an offer they can't refuse.

BaristaExpress's avatarBaristaExpress

Lottery spokesman John Charlson is blaming a "rare" printing issue for the mix-up, admitting an ink problem affected 4,500 tickets, which have had to be withdrawn. <<<< That statement in it's self should have been what happen to the whole run of tickets for that game! No excuse for anything less than to be done to avoid this type of thing that is about to happen to the New York Lottery! You see if they destroyed 4500 tickets then they should have destroyed the whole run and started over after the problem was fixed! Precedence has been set by them admitting they destroyed 4500 of the run because of the printing issue! And the courts/jury will see it the same way and hold the lottery accountable for their inability to use common sense! (As I see it 5 million would be a tidy sum to make the NY Lottery get some common sense for once in their pitiful existence.)

ThatScaryChick's avatarThatScaryChick

This is one reason why I dislike scratch off tickets. It's too easy for printing errors and other mistakes to occur. And if you believe you have won something, they can say, "Nope it was just a printing error."

four4me's avatarfour4me

And what if there were more big money winning tickets among the 4500 tickets they destroyed. I guess that doesn't matter to the lottery.

nanolike's avatarnanolike

Sorry Vinny this really really bites. I hope you do bring them to their knees!

Once I got a lotto ticket out of a machine and there were only two numbers on the ticket the others where not even there so there were 4 spaces invisible not a thing where numbers should have been. ___  ___ 23 ___ 42 ___ 


Didnt know what the hell to do with that ticket, maybe fill in the blanks myself!!!

fja's avatarfja

Time to go to the mattressess Vinny....

"Those lottery officials are pimps,,,they never could have out fought Santino!!!!"

DC81's avatarDC81

Someone is gonna get whacked!

ptcruiser70's avatarptcruiser70

you dont mess with the sopranos they are all about bussiness you might get hurt Chair

Lotto*Love's avatarLotto*Love


Next time I "think" I have a winning ticket....blow it up to billboard size just to make sure so I don't look like an ass.

WHAT>>EVER! I would so make them lottery people "swim with the fishes"

Give em da money!!!

KY Floyd's avatarKY Floyd

Scratchers are like checks. The numbers that matter are printed twice, once as numbers and a second time as words.  If the number he thinks is a 1 doesn't say "one" under it, then it's not a 1. Thinking you won doesn't mean squat when your ticket isn't really a winner.


I agree 100%.  For them to allow 4500 tickets to be sold with a known error that could indicate false positives...I say they should eat this one and pay the man the money.

$5,000,000 to the NY Lotto is POCKET CHANGE.  I believe it is an appropriate penalty for their incompetence in not preventing these tickets from being delivered to the end buyer.  It will be a message to other lotteries to GET IT RIGHT when they print their tickets.  God forbid a single mother on welfare with 4 kids get this ticket and believe her prayers had been answered.

justxploring's avatarjustxploring

"You know what I look like after telling everybody I won? I look like some big ass."


Then just shaddupa you face!


When I read this it reminded me of the scene in goodfellas where Frankie Carbone is saying he can't hit a number.  LOL

Frankie Carbone: I could never hit that number
Tommy DeVito: Frankie, Frankie, Frankie. What the f... does 528 have to do with 460? I can't believe this guy.' 528 ain't even close to 460. Now what the f... does that got to do with anything?
Frankie Carbone: Eh, I been playin' that numba for three years

Guru101's avatarGuru101

Normally, I would say tough luck, but they acknowledged that the tickets were defected and allowed them to be sold anyway. 4500 of them, and those suckers cost $20 each. That's $90,000 worth of defected tickets. That's way too much. I hope he wins in this case.

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