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Cheated winner wants Texas Lottery to pay up

Topic closed. 43 replies. Last post 7 years ago by PERDUE.

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Kentucky
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Posted: October 29, 2009, 7:59 pm - IP Logged

"Perhaps you need to read how this story clearly rings in favor of the gent who now seeks his winnings."

Perhaps you need to read up on when the ticket was claimed, when "the gent" found out that a ticket he had bought was a winning ticket, and when the lottery first heard that there was a problem. The Texas lottery has already paid the full value of the prize. At that time they had no way of knowing that the person claiming it stole it from the rightful owner.

Whether or not the lottery owes the guy anything will be up to the courts, but I don't see any liability on the part of the lottery. The person who stole the ticket worked for a retailer who sold lottery tickets. I'm very skeptical that the courts will find that to make the clerk an agent of the lottery. If he wasn't an agent of the lottery then the lottery has no liability, and this is no different than trying to blame the people who make Cracker Jacks because a store employee stole the prize from your box after you bought it, opened it, and left it on the counter.

There is a slim chance that the guy might have some success is in going after the store. As a clerk, the person who stole the ticket was an agent of the store, which would make the store liable for some damages caused to a customer by a clerk. Unfortunately, the damages in this case were caused by a criminal act, and not by the clerk simply doing his job poorly or incorrectly. Finding an employer responsible for acts that are completely outside of normal job duties is very unusual.

"I'm very skeptical that the courts will find that to make the clerk an agent of the lottery."

The court has already made a ruling.

"investigators determined that Willis had bought the ticket, and they gave their findings to the Travis County District Attorney's Office, according to police. A Travis County grand jury indicted Joshi on the offense of claiming a lottery prize by fraud, a second-degree felony."

The article goes on to explain over half the money has been recovered.

As for the salesman being an agent, the retailer is still an agent for the state lottery whether the actual owner of the store sold the ticket or not. By your logic McDonald's could not be held responsible for the hot coffee that woman spilled in her lap because an employee sold the coffee.

    LANTERN's avatar - kilroy 28_173_reasonably_small.jpg
    Tx
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    Posted: October 29, 2009, 10:46 pm - IP Logged

    That guy might be long gone, back to India, Pakistan or where-ever and so perhaps a lot of the money also.

    The owner of the ticket should get the full amount of money owed to him, regardless, the Tx lottery is said to make more than enough money every year, but they are so greedy.

    When a lottery clerk wins big, they should first be investigated good and the winning money put in hold for at least 2 to 4 weeks just in case somebody has claims to it, if after 4 weeks nobody comes forth, then give the money, this should be done just for those who sell lottery tickets and win more than $599.

    This kind of thing might happen often, people just don't know about it, because they don't check the tickets themselves.

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      Posted: October 30, 2009, 1:52 am - IP Logged

      "I'm very skeptical that the courts will find that to make the clerk an agent of the lottery."

      The court has already made a ruling.

      "investigators determined that Willis had bought the ticket, and they gave their findings to the Travis County District Attorney's Office, according to police. A Travis County grand jury indicted Joshi on the offense of claiming a lottery prize by fraud, a second-degree felony."

      The article goes on to explain over half the money has been recovered.

      As for the salesman being an agent, the retailer is still an agent for the state lottery whether the actual owner of the store sold the ticket or not. By your logic McDonald's could not be held responsible for the hot coffee that woman spilled in her lap because an employee sold the coffee.

      I though it was clear that my post was about Willis' case against the lottery. There hasn't been a trial yet, so there certainly hasn't been a court ruling. The part you've quoted is about the criminal case against the clerk for stealing the ticket. The Grand Jury's finding simply says that they believe there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. Calling that a court ruling is a stretch.

      McDonald's is responsible for their coffee regardless of who sells it, because it's their coffee made and served to their specifications. That their employees are agents (exactly as any retailer's employees are agents of the retailer) has no relevance. Those McDonald's employes also sell Coca Cola, but neither the employees or McDonald's are agents of Coca Cola. I know that many people refer to lottery retailers as "agents," but as far as I know they are not agents of the lottery in the legal sense. If they aren't agents, then their employees aren't either.

        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
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        Posted: October 30, 2009, 6:53 am - IP Logged

        Agent or no agent I predict that the TLC will avoid court for the sake of public relations and give Willis his money and then pursue recovery of the rest from the thief.

        They can't win any other way, at least not in the court of public opinion which is very important for maintaining their credibility and stature.

        It may be considered the politically correct way of resolving the issue but nonetheless it would be in their best interest for this issue to go away as quickly as possible.

        I don't think they'll be concerned about setting a precedent due to the rare potential for cases like this.


                                                     
                             
                                                 

         

         

         

         

                                                                                                           

        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

         

         

          LANTERN's avatar - kilroy 28_173_reasonably_small.jpg
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          Posted: October 30, 2009, 9:34 am - IP Logged

          Wel, I was not too far off, he is from Nepal which is very close to India and he did say that he was going back there.

          They might never see him again, unless he was crazy enough to stay here on the US, but as Indians here stick together, even if he stayed, they might never see him.

          -----

          For some reason that just made me remember about D. B. Cooper., who they never found.

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            Posted: October 30, 2009, 9:58 am - IP Logged

            I though it was clear that my post was about Willis' case against the lottery. There hasn't been a trial yet, so there certainly hasn't been a court ruling. The part you've quoted is about the criminal case against the clerk for stealing the ticket. The Grand Jury's finding simply says that they believe there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. Calling that a court ruling is a stretch.

            McDonald's is responsible for their coffee regardless of who sells it, because it's their coffee made and served to their specifications. That their employees are agents (exactly as any retailer's employees are agents of the retailer) has no relevance. Those McDonald's employes also sell Coca Cola, but neither the employees or McDonald's are agents of Coca Cola. I know that many people refer to lottery retailers as "agents," but as far as I know they are not agents of the lottery in the legal sense. If they aren't agents, then their employees aren't either.

            The grand jury answered the most important question when it ruled the ticket belonged to Willis. At this point it's not certain that Willis can sue the Texas Lottery Commission so using the McDonald's example is putting the cart before the horse. But if he can sue the evidence will be in his favor.

            The TLC owns the lottery terminals so anyone selling or cashing tickets is acting as their agent. A retailer would be the business where the terminals are located.

            I'm sure the TLC had complaints in the past about clerks cheating players so they should have done a more thorough investigation before paying off.

              RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
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              Posted: October 30, 2009, 1:16 pm - IP Logged

              The grand jury answered the most important question when it ruled the ticket belonged to Willis. At this point it's not certain that Willis can sue the Texas Lottery Commission so using the McDonald's example is putting the cart before the horse. But if he can sue the evidence will be in his favor.

              The TLC owns the lottery terminals so anyone selling or cashing tickets is acting as their agent. A retailer would be the business where the terminals are located.

              I'm sure the TLC had complaints in the past about clerks cheating players so they should have done a more thorough investigation before paying off.

              I'm sure the TLC had complaints in the past about clerks cheating players so they should have done a more thorough investigation before paying off.

              Joshi was a student at the University of Texas at Arlington, I doubt if he told them he also worked at the store that sold the lottery ticket.  It's not unusual for a student his age to buy a lottery ticket.

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

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                Posted: October 31, 2009, 9:38 am - IP Logged

                I'm sure the TLC had complaints in the past about clerks cheating players so they should have done a more thorough investigation before paying off.

                Joshi was a student at the University of Texas at Arlington, I doubt if he told them he also worked at the store that sold the lottery ticket.  It's not unusual for a student his age to buy a lottery ticket.

                By "thorough investigation" I meant simply asking the retailer if they knew the winner. Joshi might not said he worked at that store but the store owner or manager would have confirmed it. Without any laws preventing clerks from buying and cashing tickets in their stores, the potential for fraud will always be there.

                Coin Toss was a dealer in Vegas and I believe they will confirm that under the Nevada state gambling codes, they can't gamble in the casino where they work or in any casino owned by that company. We all know there is no record of payoffs under $599 so the only deterrent would be the state lotteries running sting operations. With a fine and/or suspension or removal of the license, the store owners and managers would police their own businesses.

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                  Posted: October 31, 2009, 12:03 pm - IP Logged

                  I though it was clear that my post was about Willis' case against the lottery. There hasn't been a trial yet, so there certainly hasn't been a court ruling. The part you've quoted is about the criminal case against the clerk for stealing the ticket. The Grand Jury's finding simply says that they believe there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. Calling that a court ruling is a stretch.

                  McDonald's is responsible for their coffee regardless of who sells it, because it's their coffee made and served to their specifications. That their employees are agents (exactly as any retailer's employees are agents of the retailer) has no relevance. Those McDonald's employes also sell Coca Cola, but neither the employees or McDonald's are agents of Coca Cola. I know that many people refer to lottery retailers as "agents," but as far as I know they are not agents of the lottery in the legal sense. If they aren't agents, then their employees aren't either.

                  "McDonald's is responsible for their coffee regardless of who sells it, because it's their coffee made and served to their specifications."

                  And that's my point, the Texas Lottery is responsible regardless of who sells or cashes their tickets.

                  The grand jury found there was enough evidence proving Willis was the rightful owner of the ticket and indited Joshi for fraud. A warrant was issued but since Joshi's whereabouts are unknown there will probably be a default judgment finding him guilty. At this point it's not clear whether the TLC can be sued but it's certainly clear they didn't payoff the rightful owner of the ticket.

                  Nobody is saying lottery retailers or the clerks running the lottery terminals are employees of the state lottery commission, but that's irrelevant because of the value of the ticket, it was validated at a regional lottery office by an employed of the lottery commission. The check was issued by the TLC too.

                  You're correct because at this time there is no court trial with Judge Ito, Marsha Clark, and Johnnie Cochran and McDonalds wouldn't have been on trial either if they believed a jury would award $millions in damages to someone that placed a hot cup of McDonalds coffee between their legs while driving and talking on a cell phone. The real trial is being conducted by the customers and I doubt McDonalds lost very many because they didn't put a warning label on their coffee cups "Very hot and shouldn't be placed between your legs while driving".  On the other hand will the Texas lottery players still have confidence they will be paid their rightful winnings after hearing "oops, we accidentally paid off a clerk that defrauded one of our customers but we still won't pay the rightful winner"?

                  "I know that many people refer to lottery retailers as "agents," but as far as I know they are not agents of the lottery in the legal sense. If they aren't agents, then their employees aren't either."

                  Everybody knows sports agents act in the behalf of the players they represent and talent agents act in behalf of the entertainers they represent, but you're actually saying when a clerk sells or cashes tickets on the behalf of a state lottery, they aren't really agents.  After filling out an 8 page application and being issued a Texas lottery sales license, a business becomes a lottery retailer. The definition of an "agent" is a person or business authorized to act on another's behalf. Simply put, anyone running a lottery terminal is an agent by any common or legal definition.

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                    Posted: October 31, 2009, 11:37 pm - IP Logged

                    "And that's my point, the Texas Lottery is responsible regardless of who sells or cashes their tickets."

                    If we were talking about a defect with a ticket or an injury caused by a defective ticket you'd be correct. Maybe you understand that  the issue over the coffee was a product liability case? There was nothing wrong with the lottery ticket in question. It was a legitimate winner, and the lottery paid the prize in good faith. I expect that nobody would be arguing that the lottery is responsible if the ticket had been stolen in a muggin. If it had simply been lost, half of the posters would be screaming ignorantly about bearer bonds and claiming the lottery has to pay the person in possession of the ticket.

                    "Everybody knows sports agents..."

                    Again, simply calling somebody an agent doesn't mean they're actually a legal agent. Sports and talent agents negotiate on behalf of theirclients. Creating a legal obligation for their client would require apower of attorney, and would mean that the client then wouldn't have tosign any contracts negotiated by the "agent".

                    "Simply put, anyone running a lottery terminal is an agent by any common or legal definition."

                    Again, the "common" definition is absolutely meaningless. There's aspecific legal definition, and your concept of what that means doesn'tappear to be based in reality. Ownership of the terminal doesn't do anymore to make a retailer a legal agent of the lottery than having a soda cooler owned byCoke or Pepsi makes a retailer a legal agent for either of them. As is oftendone by other companies, the lottery supplies the retailer withequipment to facilitate the sale of tickets. If it hasn't occurred toyou yet, if we were talking about a scratcher your argument would becompletely nonexistent.

                    I see no benefit to the lottery in giving a retailer authority to do anything more than sell and redeem tickets, which doesn't require them to be legal agents of the lottery. As I said before, I don't know for a fact that retailers are never agents, but if an actual agency relationship exists it isn't for any of the reasons you've trotted out.

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                      Posted: November 1, 2009, 1:26 pm - IP Logged

                      "And that's my point, the Texas Lottery is responsible regardless of who sells or cashes their tickets."

                      If we were talking about a defect with a ticket or an injury caused by a defective ticket you'd be correct. Maybe you understand that  the issue over the coffee was a product liability case? There was nothing wrong with the lottery ticket in question. It was a legitimate winner, and the lottery paid the prize in good faith. I expect that nobody would be arguing that the lottery is responsible if the ticket had been stolen in a muggin. If it had simply been lost, half of the posters would be screaming ignorantly about bearer bonds and claiming the lottery has to pay the person in possession of the ticket.

                      "Everybody knows sports agents..."

                      Again, simply calling somebody an agent doesn't mean they're actually a legal agent. Sports and talent agents negotiate on behalf of theirclients. Creating a legal obligation for their client would require apower of attorney, and would mean that the client then wouldn't have tosign any contracts negotiated by the "agent".

                      "Simply put, anyone running a lottery terminal is an agent by any common or legal definition."

                      Again, the "common" definition is absolutely meaningless. There's aspecific legal definition, and your concept of what that means doesn'tappear to be based in reality. Ownership of the terminal doesn't do anymore to make a retailer a legal agent of the lottery than having a soda cooler owned byCoke or Pepsi makes a retailer a legal agent for either of them. As is oftendone by other companies, the lottery supplies the retailer withequipment to facilitate the sale of tickets. If it hasn't occurred toyou yet, if we were talking about a scratcher your argument would becompletely nonexistent.

                      I see no benefit to the lottery in giving a retailer authority to do anything more than sell and redeem tickets, which doesn't require them to be legal agents of the lottery. As I said before, I don't know for a fact that retailers are never agents, but if an actual agency relationship exists it isn't for any of the reasons you've trotted out.

                      "There's aspecific legal definition, and your concept of what that means doesn't appear to be based in reality"

                      Lottery retailers are called licensed retail sales "agents" on the license application and in the Texas Revised Code chapter 466, section .002 DEFINITIONS (subsection (9): "sales agent" or "sales agency" means a person licensed under this chapter to sell tickets".  It's obvious the person holding the license is in fact selling and redeeming lottery tickets on behalf of the TLC and I'm not wasting any more time checking the TLC licensed retailer guidelines to see how selling or redeeming lottery tickets applies to sales clerks. 

                      As for being realistic, you want to compare losing change in a Pepsi or Coke vending machine to losing over $600,000 after being defrauded by a lottery sales clerk/agent. My only opinion is since over half the money is recovered, it would be good for business if the TLC made up the rest.

                      State lottery commissions buy or lease lottery terminals and distribute them to licensed retailers throughout their state. Anyone that prints out a lottery ticket from one of those terminals is acting on behalf of the state lottery commission. For sake of debate, you're making it sound like Willis walked up to someone on the street, asked them check his ticket, was told it was worth $2, and got $2. But you're wrong, Wilis went to a licensed Texas lottery retailer and asked the clerk to check his ticket and after checking the ticket, the clerk knew it was worth $1 million but lied to Willis and said it was worth $2.

                      "I see no benefit to the lottery in giving a retailer authority to do anything more than sell and redeem tickets, which doesn't require them to be legal agents of the lottery"

                      The act of giving a retailer the authority to sell, check, and redeem tickets under $599 is giving retailers the authority to act in the behalf of the state lottery no matter how you define it.

                      The authority of the retailers to sell tickets is given when the terminal goes online and the authority to redeem tickets is printed on the back of the ticket; they can redeem up to $599 on one ticket. The value of Willis ticket was more so the clerk had no authority to redeem or validate Willis' ticket, but Willis didn't know the value of the ticket and accepted the $2 the clerk told him it was worth. Apparently the clerk had the ticket validated and redeemed at a regional lottery office.

                      On the Texas website under "How to Play Lotto Texas" and on that page under "How To Find Out If You're a Winner", it clearly says "Winning numbers are available at Texas Lottery retailers".  The same information can be found in the "How to Play" pamphlets at lottery retailers.

                      People are saying Willis was stupid for not checking the ticket before handing it to the clerk but even if we check our tickets here on Lottery Post, the news Paper, the state lottery website, TV, or anywhere else, we can only redeem them at an authorized lottery agency; a lottery retailer, a regional lottery office, or at the state lottery headquarters. Willis chose to check his ticket at the store where he bought it and where he thought he could redeem it for the full value if it was a winner.

                      It's clear the TLC gives retailers through a licensing process the authority to sell, check, and redeem TLC lottery tickets, they instruct players to check those tickets at lottery retailers on their website, in pamphlets where the ticket was bought, and where to redeem them on the back of the ticket. A Texas prosecutor had enough evidence of fraud they convened an grand jury and a warrant was issued. That means nothing to Willis because they is no current legislation allowing him to sue the TLC. There is no higher authority Willis can go to whether or not the TLC is responsible for the actions of one of their sales agents.

                      Again it would be good for business for the TLC to payoff Willis before an up and coming legislator takes up the cause and creates legislation that might result in the TLC being sued over scratch-off paper cuts.

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                        Posted: November 5, 2009, 1:37 am - IP Logged

                        Instead of wasting time on the retailer guidelines you'd be better off finding out the difference between a legal agent and many other types of "agents".  Simply calling a retailer a sales agent or sales agency doesn't mean they are a legal agent. If you read the end of your quote it very plainly says that it means retailers are licensed "to sell tickets." If the lottery intended to make retailers legal agents of the lottery it would be carefully spelled out, describing exactly what powers retailers had to act on behalf of the lottery.

                        "As for being realistic, you want to compare losing change in a Pepsi or Coke vending machine"

                        I said absolutely nothing about vending machines. You claimed that having equipment supplied by a company makes another party using that equipment a legal agent of the company that owns the equipment. I simply pointed out that having a cooler (you know, a case, usually with sliding doors, that keeps thing cool) owned by Coke or Pepsi doesn't mean the corner store is an agent of Coke or Pepsi. I don't think it's a hard concept to understand.

                        "The act of giving a retailer the authority to sell, check, and redeemtickets under $599 is giving retailers the authority to act in thebehalf of the state lottery no matter how you define it."

                        Only in your imagination. The Coke analogy works fairly well here, too. Coke allows stores to sell Coke, and in many states, to redeem the empty bottles for 5 or 10 cents. Coke and Pepsi often have contests where people win a free bottle of soda. Those free bottles (you know, "prizes") can be redeemed at retailers, can't they? You'd have to be completely clueless to think that somehow allows the store to act on behalf of the Coca Cola company. The lottery allowing retailers to sell and redeem tickets is no different in terms of the retailers authority to create obligations for the lottery. The obligations of the lottery result only from the ticket, and the retailer's actions can do nothing to create an obligation for the lottery. Despite your confusion, there is absolutely nothing about selling or redeeming lottery tickets that requires a retailer to be a legal agent of the lottery.

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                          Posted: November 5, 2009, 12:29 pm - IP Logged

                          Instead of wasting time on the retailer guidelines you'd be better off finding out the difference between a legal agent and many other types of "agents".  Simply calling a retailer a sales agent or sales agency doesn't mean they are a legal agent. If you read the end of your quote it very plainly says that it means retailers are licensed "to sell tickets." If the lottery intended to make retailers legal agents of the lottery it would be carefully spelled out, describing exactly what powers retailers had to act on behalf of the lottery.

                          "As for being realistic, you want to compare losing change in a Pepsi or Coke vending machine"

                          I said absolutely nothing about vending machines. You claimed that having equipment supplied by a company makes another party using that equipment a legal agent of the company that owns the equipment. I simply pointed out that having a cooler (you know, a case, usually with sliding doors, that keeps thing cool) owned by Coke or Pepsi doesn't mean the corner store is an agent of Coke or Pepsi. I don't think it's a hard concept to understand.

                          "The act of giving a retailer the authority to sell, check, and redeemtickets under $599 is giving retailers the authority to act in thebehalf of the state lottery no matter how you define it."

                          Only in your imagination. The Coke analogy works fairly well here, too. Coke allows stores to sell Coke, and in many states, to redeem the empty bottles for 5 or 10 cents. Coke and Pepsi often have contests where people win a free bottle of soda. Those free bottles (you know, "prizes") can be redeemed at retailers, can't they? You'd have to be completely clueless to think that somehow allows the store to act on behalf of the Coca Cola company. The lottery allowing retailers to sell and redeem tickets is no different in terms of the retailers authority to create obligations for the lottery. The obligations of the lottery result only from the ticket, and the retailer's actions can do nothing to create an obligation for the lottery. Despite your confusion, there is absolutely nothing about selling or redeeming lottery tickets that requires a retailer to be a legal agent of the lottery.

                          When the topic is "man gets cheated out of a free can of Pepsi" we'll keep you in mind, but this topic is about a man that bought Texas state lottery tickets from a licensed Texas Lottery retailer, took the tickets to a licensed Texas lottery retailer to be checked, and was scammed/cheated/hoodwinked/bamboozled/defrauded out of the true value of one of the tickets.

                          Texas just like every other state issues licenses to various agents so in the Texas State law codes there is a legal definition of an agent as anyone acting on the behalf if an individual entity; insurance companies are licensed and a licensed Texas insurance agent is acting on the behalf of an insurance company when they write a policy for a Texas state resident. The Texas Lottery section of the code defines a licensed retailer as a "sales agent" so it's obvious according to Texas law, a licensed retailer is acting on behalf of the TLC.

                          The TLC validated a signed lottery ticket and wrote a check for the value of the ticket to the signer without knowing the signer was a clerk for a TLC sales agent or what he had done. Legally Willis can't sue the TLC even if it can be proved the TLC is responsible for the actions of one of their sales agents so any debate about Pepsi, Coke, McDonalds or responsibility is pointless. There is enough evidence for the criminal court to charge the clerk with fraud but the story doesn't say if the licensed retailer was charged too.

                          On the license application there is an investigation process and there are regulations licensed retailers must follow and the TLC can revoke or suspend the license and turn off the terminal. It's possible that Willis could sue the retailer but he would have to prove there was a violation and I doubt the regulations cover student sales clerks who have the opportunity to cheat a player and then flee the country.

                          Had Willis signed the back of the ticket, the clerk could have still told him the ticket was worthless and threw it in the trash so I guess the moral of this story is to know the value of a ticket before we redeem it.

                            psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

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                            Posted: November 5, 2009, 7:43 pm - IP Logged

                            Wonder how much the lawyer is going to rip him for now?

                            I wish Willis the best but he seems maybe just a little bit slow and I hope he doesn't fall victim to a feeding frenzy after he gets the money.

                            And the Texas Lottery ought to give him his money immediately. It was stolen by someone who was a de facto agent for the Lottery.

                            rdgrnr:

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                              Posted: November 6, 2009, 12:45 am - IP Logged

                              rdgrnr:

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                              WHO know'$$$$$$$$$$(when he may R may NOT collect D LOTTERY)????????????????????????????????

                              ????????????????>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>WHO think's HE will ever get D>>>>>>MONY????????????????

                              remember..........HE is probably waiting 4 the "FREE">>>>>>>>>HEALTH>>CARE>>PLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              2 PASS dis SATURADY$$$$$$$$$$$$!

                              free health cum'g dis week>END!!!!!!!

                              wait & wait til D CKECK>>>& you win a ####### 2 talk 2 DR. OBAMO!!!!!!


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