He definitely won the $1,000, but is the $1 million claim a fraud?
FALL RIVER, Mass. — The past of a Fall River man who claimed he won the lottery twice in one day is now being called into question. It turns out Phillip Brunelle, formerly known as Phillip Daggett, has been in legal trouble before for making false claims.
Brunelle said he bought a lottery ticket from a convenience store on East Main St. Sunday morning and won $1,000. He said he then went back into the convenience store, plunked down $20 for a Money Mania scratch ticket, and won again. This time the prize was $1 million.
The Massachusetts Lottery Commission confirmed Brunelle collected his $1,000 in winnings Tuesday afternoon. However, he still has not submitted the $1 million lottery ticket, which officials said is very unusual. In addition, the store where the winning ticket was reportedly sold has taken down a sign advertising the big win.
An acquaintance of Brunelle's sent out an email to media outlets Monday, detailing Brunelle's past as Phillip Dagget.
In September, Brockton police charged him with making a hoax phone call claiming someone had been fatally shot.
Eight months earlier he reportedly saved an infant who swallowed a small light bulb by performing CPR.
In November 2006, he filed charges with city police saying he became ill from eating a drug-laced taco at Taco Bell. Police said the investigation revealed that claim was unfounded.
In 2004, he sued McDonalds after claiming he became sick from food at one of the chain's restaurants.
Brunelle was also the bartender at Puzzles gay bar in 2006 when 18-year-old Jacob Robida attacked customers with a hatchet and a handgun during a reported hate crime.
Brunelle has not been able to be reached since the email was sent.
The Massachusetts Lottery Commission said it does not get involved in any claim until someone presents a valid winning ticket. However, it said if and when Brunelle comes forward, the commission will send out a news release. The only place where Brunelle can submit the winning ticket is the Lottery's Braintree office. He does have a year to cash in the winning ticket.