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Lottery winner loses ticket, awarded unspent portion from couple who found it

Topic closed. 50 replies. Last post 7 years ago by Raven62.

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Espanola NM
United States
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March 25, 2009
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Posted: July 25, 2009, 8:40 pm - IP Logged

Once again if the ticket was signed.....obviously it is unethical and illegal to try and claim the ticket as yours

However....we are talking about an unsigned ticket that was perhaps found on the ground somewhere.   I would likely keep the ticket and I think if i found it it should be mine. 

I guess it all comes down to the definition of ownership.   Is the purchaser the owner?   Is the signature on the back of the ticket the owner?

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    New Member
    Georgetown/SC
    United States
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    November 8, 2005
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    Posted: July 25, 2009, 9:59 pm - IP Logged

    In any case like that you need to put your ticket away in a safe place before you leave the store. If it was me I would want all the money back but what can you do in a situation like that?

      TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
      A long and winding road
      United States
      Member #17084
      June 10, 2005
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      Posted: July 25, 2009, 10:01 pm - IP Logged

      to those who didnt read the article yet jumped to conclusions that would only apply in your world, the reality is, justice was served and the rightful persons were given the chance to prove  they bought and had rights to claim. Sorry that it doesnt give more factual answers as to whether it was signed or not, or how Fraud is defined in legal terms.

      I truly hope I am never in a room with some folks when my winning ticket falls out of my purse and onto the floor. Something else might drop to the floor just as quick! Evil Smile

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

       Thanks be to the giving numbers: 1621,912,119 02014

        DC81's avatar - batman39
        MI
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        Posted: July 25, 2009, 11:53 pm - IP Logged

        Once again if the ticket was signed.....obviously it is unethical and illegal to try and claim the ticket as yours

        However....we are talking about an unsigned ticket that was perhaps found on the ground somewhere.   I would likely keep the ticket and I think if i found it it should be mine. 

        I guess it all comes down to the definition of ownership.   Is the purchaser the owner?   Is the signature on the back of the ticket the owner?

        I can see the same thing easily happening here and I'm sure somewhere in the US there a case or two on the books. "Finders Keepers" is not a valid law or exception here in the US either, shocking I know.

        If you found it, kept it and it turned out to be a winner you'd be opening yourself up to a nice lawsuit that you'll likely lose if the person has solid evidence and even without the money will be locked up until its resolved and have fun paying the legal bills and back whatever money you may have spent from the prize. Then there's the likely criminal charges you'll be facing. I'm sure some will disagree but this is no different from if you found a wallet or bag with cash in it filled with cash or whatever else and decided to keep it after making zero effort to find the rightful owner.. At best its dishonest.

        You can't predict random.

          savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
          adelaide sa
          Australia
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          Posted: July 26, 2009, 1:23 am - IP Logged

          £30k = $60k USD. thats a lot of moolah. prob tax free in UK to. maybe id keep it for 11.5 months

          2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

          keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

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            NY
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            October 16, 2005
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            Posted: July 26, 2009, 2:41 am - IP Logged

            Nope, I do not understand!!!someone lost the ticket,someone else finds ticket cashes it in,there is no forgery or deception but those people have to pay it back!!! there is something wrong with that big time!!! finders keepers, loosers weepers!!!

            Are half of the posters here still in the 3rd grade? If you lost your wallet would you honestly believe that whoever found it was entitled to keep it? If so I'll give you credit for consistency. If not, you obviously don't really believe  that  "finders keepers, losers weepers" is actually true. The only difference between losing a wallet and other things is that it's usually a lot easier to find the rightful owner of a wallet. I realize that it apparently comes as a complete surprise to a lot of people, but just because it isn't easy to find the rightful owner of something doesn't mean that person doesn't remain the rightful owner. The law requires that the finder of lost property make a reasonable effort to  locate the rightful owner, and the finder becomes entitled to ownership only after making that effort and waiting for a period of time that is prescribed by law without locating the rightful owner.

            As for "forgery or deception" claiming ownership of something that isn't yours is clearly an act of deception. As RJ pointed out, if the Staceys signed a claim form saying they had bought the ticket or otherwise claiming they were the rightful owners that would clearly constitute fraud. The article says nothing about forgery, but signing a claim form as the rightful owner with their real name is forgery, because the claim is fraudulent.

            "I don't think it's one of those black & white cases.  This tookplace in the UK, but remember when a man in MA found a winning ticketin the trash?"

            Of course it's black and white. Somebody lost property and somebody found that property and tried to keep it as their own. The law is completely unambiguous about the rightful ownership. In the case of property found in the trash the property may have been discarded deliberately, which would make it abandoned property rather than lost property.

            "its a bearer  instrument pay up."

            Congratulations. There's an excellent chance that you've figured out a way to almost guarantee a long wait for the prize money. Just as with "finders keepers, losers weepers", too many people don't understand the actual law regarding bearer instruments. A bearer instrument is simply a monetary instrument that is not registered, as is the case with stocks and other instruments. The cash in your wallet is also a bearer instrument, and they are all treated the same way. There is a presumption that the bearer is the owner, but that presumption doesn't govern rightful ownership. By not answering questions designed to determine if you are the rightful owner and suggesting that you should be paid simply because it's a bearer instrument you will make excellent headway in raising suspicion that you are merely in possession and not the rightful owner.

            "I bet the Stacey's don't feel very lucky right now."

            They certainly shouldn't be feeling unlucky. Their sentence was suspended and the court only ordered them to pay back the half they hadn't spent. Of course if they've got any sense at all they should be concerned about a lawsuit seeking the remaining balance.

              Bondi Junction
              Australia
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              Posted: July 26, 2009, 5:04 am - IP Logged

              This is why I like the Players Registration Cards we have here in NSW. If you lose your ticket, or it is stolen, it is registered in your name and others can not claim any prizes.

              We all get a lot out of lotteries!

                savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                adelaide sa
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                Posted: July 26, 2009, 5:54 am - IP Logged

                no i would like it returned, i would be amazingly suprised if it was returned. especially if it had $60k in it.

                2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                  bashley572's avatar - starwars14
                  West Side of Sunny Florida
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                  Posted: July 26, 2009, 7:22 am - IP Logged

                  A few years ago when I match 5 of 6 in the local lottery and cashed my ticket I had to fill out a form to collect my winnings with the name of the retailer where I bought my ticket.  Even though the bank would have paid me the winnings regardless of the retailer name I put on the form, an investigation later would have revealed fraud if what I signed wasn't true.  Finding something that belongs to someone else doesn't make it yours.  Signing a form stating you paid for something at a particular retailer that you found is fraud.

                  Yea, good point with the fraud part of NOT being the one  who paid for it.  Now next question is 'If you lost a jacpot winning ticket and someone else turned it in so you could get it back to claim the win - would you give the person who turned it in any money??? 

                  I think I would but not sure how much.

                  Money won is twice as good as money earned!

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                    Monkey Butt, USA
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                    Posted: July 26, 2009, 12:54 pm - IP Logged

                    After reading this story I was motivated to once again read the back of my playslip and ticket. On the back of my playslip under HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE: The first thing the TX Lottery Commission wrote was, "Sign ticket before claiming. Unsigned tickets could be claimed by whoever possesses the ticket." 

                    I continued to read the back of the playslip and under the section RULES: The first thing the TX Lottery Commission wrote was, "The ticket, not the playslip, is the only valid proof of your number selection and is the only valid receipt to claim a prize. The Texas Lottery is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets."

                    "Tickets, transactions, players, and winners are subject to, and players and winners agree to abide by, all applicable laws, Commission rules, regulations, policies, directives, instructions, conditions, procedures, and final decisions of the Executive Director." 

                    What all this gobbly-gook means I'm not sure. It is something that requires research to see exactly what the applicable laws, Comission rules, regulations, policies directives, instructions, conditions, procedures and final decisions of the Executive Director are.

                    I looked on the back of a ticket I purchased and guess what I saw, On the back of my ticket was printed at least three times. "Sign ticket before claiming. The Texas Lottery is not responsible for your ticket if it is lost in the mail." ( for those who choose to mail in their winning ticket)

                    It also had two places where I could print my name, address, phone number, and sign my name. Can you believe it? TWO PLACES for me to show ownership of the ticket. OH BOY!!!!! Will wonders ever cease!!!!

                    I looked on the back of a TX Pick 3 playslip and listed under CLAIMING A PRIZE: the first thing written was, "Sign ticket before claiming. Anyone who posses an unsigned ticket may be able to claim a prize."

                    "The TX Lottery Commission is not responsible for tickets lost in the mail."

                    Listed under RULES: the second thing written was, The Texas Lottery is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets or for tickets lost in the mail.

                    PEOPLE-PEOPLE-PEOPLE if you are going to play the lottery at least have the basic common sense to write (sign or print) YOUR NAME on YOUR ticket. If you choose not to then you get what you deserve should you find yourself in this situation.

                    This story never stated if the Stacey's said they bought the ticket or found the ticket or if they said where they got the ticket from. It never even said if that part of the claim form was filled in. All of the focus is on the ticket being cashed and the lawsuit.

                    I have cashed in many tickets and I did not fill in that part of the claim form because I did not remember where my ticket was purchased.  I purchase a lot of tickets on a whim when I am out and about. If the clerk at the claims center asked this is what I say, and my form is processed and I receive my check and go on my merry little way.

                    Why? Because a lot of people do what I do and I don't think the TX Lottery Commission actually expect us to keep a written list of the retailer numbers and names for reference.

                    I know for a fact that the TX Lottery Commission knows where the ticket was sold because of the retailer number printed on the top of my ticket.

                    And in case you're wondering I am one of the bone heads that doesn't always fill out the back of my ticket. And that makes me JUST AS STUPID as the people who has had a winning ticket claimed by someone else. And if I am ever in this position, I GET WHAT I DESERVE! And I will just have to let that be a very expensive lesson learned.

                    After all, "The best sense is bought sense."  How much are you willing to pay for yours?

                      savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                      adelaide sa
                      Australia
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                      Posted: July 26, 2009, 2:01 pm - IP Logged

                      nice post perdue, but why bother, i intend to just bleate like a  lost sheep, i lost my ticket i want my money waaaa.

                      should be alright, i may even get half the winnings back.

                      2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                      keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                        mid-Ohio
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                        Posted: July 26, 2009, 2:39 pm - IP Logged

                        While winning lottery tickets are bearer instruments, the bearers still had to have acquired them through legal means and usually have to sign a claim form stating such when the prizes are greater than $600.

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

                          mjwinsmith's avatar - moon

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                          Posted: July 26, 2009, 2:50 pm - IP Logged

                          If the back of the ticket was signed, then it belongs to the lady that puchased the ticket.

                          If the ticket was NOT signed, then the Stacey's have a good case. How would they know who the ticket belonged to?? It's a bearer instrument, if I found a ticket that was not signed, it's mine now. If it was signed then I would take it to the police and turn it in to them. After a length of time if it is not claimed then I have a legal right to it.

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                            Espanola NM
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                            Posted: July 26, 2009, 3:23 pm - IP Logged

                            That is what I am thinking!  If I found a signed ticket or a lost paycheck.....I would know that it isn't mine.  Since those documents obviously are attached to a particular individual.  In that case....it might be easier to track down the name attached to the document. Same applies to a wallet or vehicle.   Those will either have an ID/credit card that can be traced back to the rightful owner.  A vehicle has a VIN# that can track down the registered owner. 

                             

                            An unsigned ticket....is simply that....an unsigned ticket.  All a lottery ticket identfies is the actual winning numbers, the store it was purchased at, and a time stamp.    There is no identifying material on the ticket regarding a so-called rightful owner unless it is SIGNED.       Just like a $50 bill you find outside on the sidewalk.  Should I turn the unsigned ticket in to the store clerk?  Should I trust that the store clerk will find the rightful owner?   Should I turn it in to the police?   Should I trust the police that they will locate the so-called rightful owner?    Should I keep the ticket in safe-keeping and place an ad in the local newspaper and ask for specific details that only the rightful owner would know such as date and time of purchase?  What constituties reasonable effort in finding the owner?     Should I keep quiet and wait and see if someone files a missing/stolen ticket report?   

                            Once again if you read the fine print on the back of the ticket it clearly states that the ticket is a bearer instrument unless signed.    It also states that play slips are irrelevant for the purposes of confirming a winning ticket.  It also states that the ticket is only valid for a certain number of days and must be claimed by a deadline. You also NEED the actual ticket that is barcoded.    If the law doesn't back that up....why print that disclaimer on the back?  If the purchaser is the true owner why doesn't the lottery simply get the contact details of ownership at time of purchase?    Why is it that the lottery allow anonymous purchasing.

                              konane's avatar - wallace
                              Atlanta, GA
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                              Posted: July 26, 2009, 3:37 pm - IP Logged

                              This is why I like the Players Registration Cards we have here in NSW. If you lose your ticket, or it is stolen, it is registered in your name and others can not claim any prizes.

                              Brilliant concept, wish we had that here.

                              Good luck to everyone!