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blaming a "rare" printing issue for the mix-up, admitting an ink problem affected 4,500 tickets, which have had to be withdrawn.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