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Clerk arrested in undercover Lottery sting

Washington LotteryWashington Lottery: Clerk arrested in undercover Lottery sting
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Investigator was paid $50 for ticket worth $20,000

OLYMPIA, Wa. — An employee of the City Limits Deli Mart in Sumner and her companion got an unpleasant surprise Monday when they traveled to Washington's Lottery headquarters to claim what they thought was a $20,000 prize.

Olympia police arrested the two women for allegedly trying to claim the prize through fraud or deception, according to a Lottery spokeswoman.

The alleged fraud occurred Thursday, when an undercover Lottery employee posing as a customer at the store conducted a random consumer compliance check, said Lottery spokeswoman Jacque Coe.

Coe said the investigator had a specially designed winning lottery ticket, and he gave it to the employee to check whether it was a winner.

The ticket indicated it was a winner, and that the person who possessed it was due $20,000, Coe said. But an employee told the compliance officer the ticket was worth a $50 payout, Coe said.

The woman kept the ticket after giving the Lottery employee $50, she said. On Monday, the store employee and a companion tried to claim the $20,000 ticket at Washington's Lottery headquarters on Fourth Avenue in Olympia, according to Coe. Lottery officials called Olympia police, and officers arrested the two women.

The compliance checks by Washington's Lottery have been ongoing for about a year and are meant to test proper ticket-cashing procedures, Coe said. Monday's arrests were the first of their kind, she added.

"This is unusual," Coe said.

Customers at any of the Lottery's more than 4,000 retailers must be able to rely on store clerks to give them the accurate value of their tickets, Coe said.

"Consumer protection is paramount to the integrity of the Lottery," she said.

Coe reminded Lottery consumers that they can always check the value of a winning lottery ticket by calling the Lottery's winning-numbers line at 1-800-545-7510. Stores that sell lottery tickets also should have scanners that customers can use to get an accurate value if a ticket is a winner, she said.

Retailers can pay out winning lottery tickets on-site only when they are valued at $600 or less, Coe said. Winning tickets in amounts higher than that must be cashed out at one of the state's six regional lottery offices – in Vancouver, Olympia, Federal Way, Everett, Yakima or Spokane – she said.

Coe said anyone who buys a winning lottery ticket should sign it to make sure no one else can claim it.

Coe said the investigation into the two women arrested at Washington's Lottery headquarters Monday is ongoing.

The Olympian is not releasing the names of the two women because they have not been charged with a crime. Both had been released from the Thurston County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.

It remains to be seen which county prosecutor's office will have jurisdiction over the case. Thurston County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim said he was unfamiliar with the case, but that it could be filed in either Pierce or Thurston counties.

Olympian

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28 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by KY Floyd.
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lotteryprophet's avatar - nbvc
lincoln, nebraska
United States
Member #86998
February 15, 2010
21 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 21, 2010, 7:31 am - IP Logged

This story is disturbing from every angle.

While I am glad the Lottery is trying to ensure customers are not deceioved and that stores are held accountable for stealing from customers I am disturbed at this particular sting.

"A speciallty designed winning ticket"? WTF is that?

If the Lottery can fake a winning ticket, let it show up on a machine as a winner, why should't I believe the whole darned thing is rigged?  Wake up folks.

 

This needs an independent investigation.

    dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
    Pennsylvania
    United States
    Member #74096
    May 2, 2009
    22943 Posts
    Online
    Posted: April 21, 2010, 8:42 am - IP Logged

    I don't have a problem with a lottery official possessing a rigged ticket to set up a thief. I have a problem with the trust that is automatically

    assumed when handing a ticket over to the person standing behind the machine. That trust has been violated many, many times...examples

    reported here with larger amounts yet, remember?

    Imagine the countless times where something like this wasn't reported because the prizes were much less. How easy to say the ticket is not a

    winner and pocket even $50.

    PA recently replaced old machines with new and supposedly better machines..one of the perks or add ons was a ticket reader. Scan the bar

    of the ticket and get results stating whether or not you're a winner. Do it yourself, nothing better than that. I have seen some people hand

    the ticket over to the clerk even after doing the scan themselves saying: I'm not sure about this one....No Nod

    A huge downside is that these fancy, new machines DO NOT read instant tickets. Where is the sense in that move? PA and any other state that

    has ticket readers need to put the ability to read instant tickets in place. AND people need to wake up and not be so trusting. Times are

    hard but that comes and goes, thieves are a constant. Make sure YOU know before handing your ticket over to some smiling clerk...it's

    not that hard to find out if you have a winner or not....newspapers, Internet, the actual drawing, letter codes on instant tickets, self scanning

    machines. Beware.

      tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

      United States
      Member #47420
      November 4, 2006
      3930 Posts
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      Posted: April 21, 2010, 8:52 am - IP Logged

      If a person dosen't know how much his ticket is worth before he goes in to cash it they should not be buying lottery ticket..These clerks are just stupid because this has been tried before..They will never get away with it..Glad the lottery does this and no it's not rigged!!..

        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
        United States
        Member #73904
        April 28, 2009
        14903 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 21, 2010, 10:13 am - IP Logged

        If a person dosen't know how much his ticket is worth before he goes in to cash it they should not be buying lottery ticket..These clerks are just stupid because this has been tried before..They will never get away with it..Glad the lottery does this and no it's not rigged!!..

        I gotta disagree tiggs. I bet they get away with it all the time.

        Do you think that this was the first time that this broad ripped somebody off and she just happened to get caught by an investigator on her first try?

        I don't.

        I hope we hear what happens to her now since she hasn't even been charged with a crime.


                                                     
                             
                                                 

         

         

         

         

                                                                                                           

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

                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

         

         

          LotteryJunkiE99's avatar - Lottery-025.jpg

          United States
          Member #72647
          March 23, 2009
          63 Posts
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          Posted: April 21, 2010, 10:26 am - IP Logged

          Wait I don't understand, if they tried to claim a wrongful prize, why aren't they being persecuted by the AD?  And as far as that winning ticket goes, from what  I get of it, it wasn't part of the game itself in terms of sales, just a ticket that showed up as a winner that carried the label of the game?   Hmm..., either case I hope they start doing this in all states, people don't hate me for saying this, but most people it's not that they don't care, it's just that they don't have the time to check up on everything and rely on honest clerks to tell them the truth, even if it is a purchase.   I know I know.      Sulk Off     So when it does happen, I say, Fry Em'!  Embarassed

          - ILOVETHELOTTERY Sun Smiley

            tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

            United States
            Member #47420
            November 4, 2006
            3930 Posts
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            Posted: April 21, 2010, 11:01 am - IP Logged

            Wait I don't understand, if they tried to claim a wrongful prize, why aren't they being persecuted by the AD?  And as far as that winning ticket goes, from what  I get of it, it wasn't part of the game itself in terms of sales, just a ticket that showed up as a winner that carried the label of the game?   Hmm..., either case I hope they start doing this in all states, people don't hate me for saying this, but most people it's not that they don't care, it's just that they don't have the time to check up on everything and rely on honest clerks to tell them the truth, even if it is a purchase.   I know I know.      Sulk Off     So when it does happen, I say, Fry Em'!  Embarassed

            If you got time to go into a store and buy a ticket you got time to check the numbers to see if you won and how much the ticket is worth..

              tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

              United States
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              Posted: April 21, 2010, 11:17 am - IP Logged

              I gotta disagree tiggs. I bet they get away with it all the time.

              Do you think that this was the first time that this broad ripped somebody off and she just happened to get caught by an investigator on her first try?

              I don't.

              I hope we hear what happens to her now since she hasn't even been charged with a crime.

              Once again tiggs is wrong..When will he ever learn..

                Avatar
                NY
                United States
                Member #23835
                October 16, 2005
                3474 Posts
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                Posted: April 21, 2010, 1:30 pm - IP Logged

                "Wait I don't understand, if they tried to claim a wrongful prize, why aren't they being persecuted by the AD?"

                I've got no idea why the lottery and the  prosecutor wouldn't have figured it out ahead of time, but it sounds like they aren't sure if she should be prosecuted in the jurisdiction where the ticket was taken, or where she tried to claim the ticket. It seems to me there should be an easy answer to that: both. She committed one crime by fraudulently taking the ticket, and another by trying to claim the prize as her own.

                I'd like to know why her companion was arrested. There's absolutely nothing in the article to suggest that the comanion did anything wrong.

                  rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                  Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                  United States
                  Member #73904
                  April 28, 2009
                  14903 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 21, 2010, 2:16 pm - IP Logged

                  Once again tiggs is wrong..When will he ever learn..

                  I know the feeling tiggs.

                  I thought I was wrong once but luckily I was mistaken.


                                                               
                                       
                                                           

                   

                   

                   

                   

                                                                                                                     

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

                                                                                                              --Edmund Burke

                   

                   

                    sully16's avatar - sharan
                    Ringleader
                    Michigan
                    United States
                    Member #81740
                    October 28, 2009
                    40530 Posts
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                    Posted: April 21, 2010, 2:39 pm - IP Logged

                    Throw the book at her....some of these clerks will take your teeth if you let them.

                    Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

                    For a lead role in a cage?

                     

                                                                From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

                      Litebets27's avatar - power
                      Maryland
                      United States
                      Member #10465
                      January 14, 2005
                      6065 Posts
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                      Posted: April 21, 2010, 2:52 pm - IP Logged

                      Neat trick. I hope all of the States employ this tactic, to bring some honesty back into the system.

                      It's got to be hard to police the retailers and their practices.

                      Feeling,  PRICELESS!!!Banana

                      Come on Jackpot!!!

                        maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
                        Massachusetts
                        United States
                        Member #37433
                        April 14, 2006
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                        Posted: April 21, 2010, 3:35 pm - IP Logged

                        I gotta disagree tiggs. I bet they get away with it all the time.

                        Do you think that this was the first time that this broad ripped somebody off and she just happened to get caught by an investigator on her first try?

                        I don't.

                        I hope we hear what happens to her now since she hasn't even been charged with a crime.

                        true that. It seems guys here would rather blame the honest victim rather than the crook. When you go to a store you expect to be dealt with in a fair manner and the law assures us so.

                        That money's gone fo ever

                          sully16's avatar - sharan
                          Ringleader
                          Michigan
                          United States
                          Member #81740
                          October 28, 2009
                          40530 Posts
                          Online
                          Posted: April 21, 2010, 3:37 pm - IP Logged

                          Neat trick. I hope all of the States employ this tactic, to bring some honesty back into the system.

                          It's got to be hard to police the retailers and their practices.

                          I agree , one gas station always has unsold tickets taped to the register in hopes some one just won' t be able to pass them up..always its for big jackpot games.

                          Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

                          For a lead role in a cage?

                           

                                                                      From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

                            Litebets27's avatar - power
                            Maryland
                            United States
                            Member #10465
                            January 14, 2005
                            6065 Posts
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                            Posted: April 21, 2010, 5:29 pm - IP Logged

                            I agree , one gas station always has unsold tickets taped to the register in hopes some one just won' t be able to pass them up..always its for big jackpot games.

                            I've been guilty of buying some of those taped tickets. But, where I play, the tickets were  usually generated when the customer wanted some other game or they could not pay for all of the tickets they asked for.

                            Mind you, I don't think I ever cashed in on any of these tickets, so that was a waste. But you never know who could have discarded the winning numbers.

                            Feeling,  PRICELESS!!!Banana

                            Come on Jackpot!!!