Indiana woman pleads guilty to buying ticket from own store
An Indiana woman who won $1 million on a scratch-off lottery game will be serving probation instead of spending her winnings.
Betty Jacobi, 54, who managed the Cowboy's Gas and Convenience store in New Salisbury, bought the $20 ticket in June from her own store, a violation of lottery policy, 6News' Derrik Thomas reported.
Because Jacobi couldn't legally claim the money, prosecutors said she gave the ticket to her daughter, Joni Magner, who collected the prize, including a $30,000 first installment.
But the family's plan started to unravel when someone sent an anonymous tip to the Hoosier Lottery, telling them to check store surveillance video.
When they did, investigators said they discovered that Magner wasn't even in the store on the day that the ticket was purchased.
Jacobi pleaded guilty on Monday to a misdemeanor count of unlawfully purchasing a lottery ticket.
Her plea deal calls for her to serve 60 days probation and perform 24 hours of community service.
Hoosier Lottery Director Kathryn Densborn said prosecution in such cases is important.
"We are one of the few states that doesn't allow retailers to play at their store," she said. "We always ask to prosecute because it is important that our players know that any time they put down a dollar, they have as good a chance as anyone to win that prize."
Some customers at Jacobi's former store said they thought the punishment was reasonable.
"I used to work at a gas station and everyone knows when you work at a gas station you can't buy tickets there, so that's fair," said Jennifer Williams.
Magner has already repaid the money she received from the lottery.
Thanks to orton for the tip.