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Florida man out $92,000 after losing winning lottery tickets

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Florida man out $92,000 after losing winning lottery tickets
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Everybody's got a story about the one that got away, but Walid Aboroomi's tale of loss and deprivation can bring tears to anyone who favors simple games of chance and the specter of quick riches.

Aboroomi has owned the BP service station and convenience store on Cross Creek Boulevard for six months, and on the night of May 28, he felt lucky. He noticed the time: 7:15 p.m.; a glimpse of a license plate in the parking lot, 715. And most importantly, his birthday: July 15.

"Everything was 715," he said. "It was blowing my brain."

Something about this seemed eerily familiar, too.

In 2007, Aboroomi won a Pick 3 lottery in Virginia for $100,000 after buying nearly 200 tickets with 715 as the winning number.

He felt the same sort of luck on May 28, he said.

The time was right, he said, to make a play.

"At times," said the 50-year-old Israeli immigrant who has been in the United States for 27 years, "you just feel lucky."

So when customers cleared out, he started printing out Cash 3 tickets with 715 as the number of choice.

He ended up buying 184 of them, at $1 each, stopping only when a customer came in.

The next day, another customer showed up and told him he thought Aboroomi's numbers had come up the night before. The shopkeeper checked, and 715 indeed had been drawn. In that order. With each ticket worth $500, that was a $92,000 windfall.

Then, his luck ran out.

He looked for the tickets. They were nowhere to be found.

He looked in the garbage. Not there. Checked under a loose countertop. Not there. Under carpets. Not there. In the bathroom. Not there. He asked his wife and children. Nope.

Aboroomi went to the big trash container outside the store and dove in. Nothing.

He called his garbage hauler, saying he had lost a ring, and found out that all the trash from that location goes to an incinerator.

"I searched every place," he said. "Finally, I gave up. I was crying, crying like a baby."

He punched out a ticket from the lottery machine in his store showing 184 tickets were printed out from that machine on that date. He said the store's surveillance system probably shows him making the purchases, but that doesn't go far with state lottery officials.

He called the Florida Lottery and was told that to make a claim, he must have the tickets, like 2,827 other people who picked 715 and claimed a prize from that drawing. The payout for that drawing totaled $449,685, state lottery officials said.

Aboroomi doesn't appear to be bitter. He can't complain. He's been a frequent lottery player and a big winner.

He was featured in a 2007 Washington Post article that said after Aboroomi won a $100,000 Pick 3 prize, he spent $17,000 on a new diamond ring for his fiancee and made donations to local churches and homeless shelters. Less than a year earlier, he won $71,000 after buying 162 Pick 3 tickets with, that's right, the 715 number.

The story said Aboroomi always plays his birthday numbers and checks the lottery websites to see when they last came in. If it's been awhile, he buys a ton of tickets.

That's not his only win. In 2005, he won $1 million playing the Virginia Million Dollar Madness scratch-off game, the story said, and he won $500,000 in a scratch-off jackpot in fall 2004.

Aboroomi said even with his lost tickets, he realizes how lucky he's been.

"Yeah," he said, "I'm not hungry."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Tampa Tribune

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44 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by HoLeeKau.
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Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

Bahamas
Member #133462
September 30, 2012
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Posted: June 20, 2015, 11:35 am - IP Logged

I think he is looking too hard. 184 tickets is a lot of paper. I hope he does find it before the 180 days expire.

"Everything works  ONCE!"

    ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
    Idaho
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    November 21, 2007
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    Posted: June 20, 2015, 11:48 am - IP Logged

    That's a hard pill to swallow. Dead

    I wonder where he set all those tickets after he printed them out? I would think think it would be hard to misplace that many tickets.

    "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
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      Member #1
      May 31, 2000
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      Posted: June 20, 2015, 12:19 pm - IP Logged

      Personally, I would not have gone public with this story.  I would have quietly gone to the lottery and told them about it -- and while continuing to search for the tickets, see if someone shows up to claim the prize.

       

      Check the State Lottery Report Card
      What grade did your lottery earn?

       

      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

        Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
        Indiana
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        January 7, 2007
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        Posted: June 20, 2015, 12:32 pm - IP Logged

        I guess Florida allows store owners and their employees to buy tickets at their place of work.

        Gonna win.Big Smile

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #149820
          December 9, 2013
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          Posted: June 20, 2015, 1:01 pm - IP Logged

          I guess Florida allows store owners and their employees to buy tickets at their place of work.

          You can buy them here too as owner/employees of the store you work at as well

            Avatar

            United States
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            December 9, 2013
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            Posted: June 20, 2015, 1:03 pm - IP Logged

            how do you misplace 184 lottery tickets? He must have a junky home or business if he can misplace that many tickets. I keep mine in my pockets but 184 it would be hard not to not see all those tickets placed somewhere

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              United States
              Member #161539
              December 3, 2014
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              Posted: June 20, 2015, 1:30 pm - IP Logged

              Personally, I would not have gone public with this story.  I would have quietly gone to the lottery and told them about it -- and while continuing to search for the tickets, see if someone shows up to claim the prize.

              I was thinking along those lines as I was reading the story and then I read your post ... being that he sells lottery tickets and if he has a clean record with the lottery, they might have worked with him ... and still might.

              However, they probably must have the tickets to keep it proper and "fair" to other players ... but there are exceptions made at times. He might have some luck in that regard.

              If none of the tickets are ever cashed ... what are the odds that no one would ever cash all those tickets and also they were printed in his store ... I guess it depends on the lottery and if they might cut him a break.

              I wonder if they were stolen ... he did say a customer walked into the store but you would think he would have noticed his tickets missing in that short time ... maybe there will be a followup story.

              Perhaps they will turn up ... I misplaced a few tickets one time but not a pile of tickets like that ... they have to be around but I would think by now he has moved and checked everything several times. It took me several days hunting around to find my tickets ... I had "hidden" them under a box.

              ...


                United States
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                June 16, 2014
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                Posted: June 20, 2015, 1:45 pm - IP Logged

                hola.

                ICAM... (i couldn't agree more with Todd.)

                I would have done the same thing.

                 

                SMH @ this story. smh.

                 

                Adios.

                  noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                  Bay Area - California
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                  Posted: June 20, 2015, 2:35 pm - IP Logged

                  He worries too much or he seeks attention.  Perhaps we will read Pt 2 soon enough- "  l found my tickets! "

                  People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                    Raven62's avatar - binary
                    New Jersey
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                    June 28, 2005
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                    Posted: June 20, 2015, 3:30 pm - IP Logged

                    how do you misplace 184 lottery tickets? He must have a junky home or business if he can misplace that many tickets. I keep mine in my pockets but 184 it would be hard not to not see all those tickets placed somewhere

                    I don't know, but he'll probably find them in the last place that he looks...

                    A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                      maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
                      Massachusetts
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                      Posted: June 20, 2015, 3:34 pm - IP Logged

                      184 lines is $184. How do you bet all those lines and not check the results immediately? Maybe he prefers to not check his tickets to delay the disappointment of losing Sleepy

                      That money's gone fo ever

                        music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
                        Happy California
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                        Posted: June 20, 2015, 4:57 pm - IP Logged

                        Raven62, of course "the last place he looks" will end it.  For either good or ill. LOLDance

                         I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

                         Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

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                          Maryland
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                          January 2, 2015
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                          Posted: June 20, 2015, 5:21 pm - IP Logged

                          184 lines is $184. How do you bet all those lines and not check the results immediately? Maybe he prefers to not check his tickets to delay the disappointment of losing Sleepy

                          Yea I agree, something strange here.....

                            RedStang's avatar - tallman zps6gf4inoc.jpg
                            NY
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                            Posted: June 20, 2015, 7:26 pm - IP Logged

                            I would still check the camera to see what i did with the tickets. They usually have several around the store.