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Man sues California Lottery for not honoring winning $5M Scratcher ticket

Jul 21, 2017, 4:09 pm

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California LotteryCalifornia Lottery: Man sues California Lottery for not honoring winning $5M Scratcher ticketRating:

LONG BEACH, Calif. — A Long Beach resident is suing the California State Lottery Commission and a local liquor store for failing to honor a winning Scratchers ticket worth $5 million.

Ward Thomas is suing the commission and Los Altos Mobil for damages resulting from the loss and denial of the winning ticket.

In the lawsuit, Thomas claims on or around Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. he and his 16-year-old son Benjamin went to the store to buy California Lottery tickets, which they had done in the past.

At Ward's request, he sent his son inside with 12 "Deluxe 7's" Scratchers that totaled $330 in winnings. He asked his son to exchange the tickets for more Scratchers, according to the lawsuit.

Benjamin bought five Scratchers tickets at $20 each and was given the remaining $230 to take home. When Ward and his son went home, they played the tickets and a "100X The Money" ticket resulted in a winning amount of $5 million.

According to Thomas's claim, he validated the ticket at a 7-Eleven in the 1700 block of Palo Verde Avenue around 9:54 p.m. that night. He then validated the ticket again the next day at the state's Lottery District in Santa Ana.

Ward said he then submitted the claim for the winning ticket and was told by the commission he was the winner of the $5 million prize.

But on Dec. 5, the commission denied his claim for the money, stating the ticket was purchased by his son who could not legally play the lottery, according to the suit.

The plaintiff claims that at no time did the store tell his son he could not purchase Scratchers tickets because of his age. He also claims his son was not asked to have an adult present to buy the tickets or that he provide his identification.

In the lawsuit, it claims the commission failed in operating by its own rules properly and failed to have Benjamin informed that he could not buy a ticket because of his age. It also states his son was not asked for an ID by the store, which means the store failed to verify his son's age before allowing him to get a ticket and that Benjamin was not informed any winnings would be invalidated.

The suit goes on to say there were no signs at the store, that the commission failed to honor Ward's winning ticket, it improperly trained retailers about the lottery rules, especially when it comes to the age of the buyer, and not having stores properly enforce those rules.

The lawsuit states Ward has suffered and will continue to suffer financial losses including interest and other damages because of the ongoing issue. It also said Ward suffers emotionally, which totals about $50,000 in damages.

The California Lottery Commission said it could not comment because of pending litigation.

KABC

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127 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by LiveInGreenBay.
Page 1 of 9
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United States
Member #164719
March 12, 2015
1300 Posts
Offline

I know when some one wins PB or MM or Calif SL, the lottery people show up and grab the video of it being sold and put up banners.  In this case, as soon as he verified it, would they swoop in and grab the video?  Or, would the store owner have tipped them off? Do vendors make money from winning scratchers? If so, why wd they have snitched?  Oh, well, hope the guy prevails in his suit. 

    HaveABall's avatar - rocket

    United States
    Member #72446
    March 18, 2009
    1311 Posts
    Offline

    Why would an adult not understand that lottery tickets are a form of gambling? Plus, that gambling can only be performed by certain aged people decided by each state's legislators?  Why did this stupid adult ruin a fine win for a legal aged ticket buying person?  Darn!

    Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

    Disney

      Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

      United States
      Member #162626
      January 7, 2015
      780 Posts
      Offline

      .

      I hope the people trying to play rip-offs get ripped off.

      I hope the dad/son win their law suit and that this never happens to any
      other player in otherwise good standing with their community.

      It's just ridiculous.  Do the wrong people think they're going to have a leg to stand on?

      • Don't chase the numbers you play.
      • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
      • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                 (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
      • Oh, but always know where your tickets are, as well as your ticket's deadline.
        zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
        South Carolina
        United States
        Member #77165
        July 15, 2009
        897 Posts
        Offline

        State law prohibits the sale of a Lottery ticket or the payment of a prize to a person under 18 years of age. Tickets failing validation are void. All California Lottery game tickets, transactions, claims and prize payments are subject to California State law and the California State Lottery rules and regulations.

        What is the penalty for the retailer who sells tickets to under age buyers?  This liquor store had made transactions with this 16 year old before.  If other people are doing this, this will stop them.

        Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.-Rocky Balboa

        “Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.” – Zig Ziglar

          Avatar
          Maryland
          United States
          Member #162429
          January 2, 2015
          2305 Posts
          Offline

          State law prohibits the sale of a Lottery ticket or the payment of a prize to a person under 18 years of age. Tickets failing validation are void. All California Lottery game tickets, transactions, claims and prize payments are subject to California State law and the California State Lottery rules and regulations.

          What is the penalty for the retailer who sells tickets to under age buyers?  This liquor store had made transactions with this 16 year old before.  If other people are doing this, this will stop them.

          I agree that the STORE should also get in trouble, such as lose their right to sell tickets for at least a year. 

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #164719
            March 12, 2015
            1300 Posts
            Offline

            As an 8 year old who was routinely sent down to the corner store for a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and a carton of smokes  LOL,  I see nothing wrong with with this.  The kid was acting as his father's agent. 

            FREE THE MONEY!!!

            [It's amazing how they had no problems IDing the kid but couldnt ID who bought the $60 million super lotto ticket and lost it a couple of years ago. 

            California screwed that guy, is trying to screw this guy, screws everybody with the pari-mutuel system, and screws superlotto players because winning tickets are maybe once a year.]

             

            FREE THE MONEY!  Boxing

              TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
              A long and winding road
              United States
              Member #17083
              June 10, 2005
              6508 Posts
              Offline

              Hmmm....So basically if I gift tickets at Christmas,and the person rightfully files the claim,the state can deny the payout? Or how did they know the age of the person? I doubt the state is that good at looking at video to say...Hey that's an underage kid! It would need someone verifying it with a birth record. Sorry,but the guy filed properly and payout is due him..May he prevail.

              2500,2202,4441,6506,202, *13***

                Avatar
                100
                New York, NY
                United States
                Member #140630
                March 23, 2013
                10697 Posts
                Offline

                If you're under 18 years of age, you are not legally allowed to play. That store is ridiculous not carding or id'ing a 16 year old kid. I mean what kid at 16 still doesn't look like a kid. I still get carded sometimes and I'm way over. I don't think he'll win his case. He was wrong in sending his son to buy the tickets, and stupid I will add, no grown up allows a kid to take on the responsibility that they should take on themself. He's just trying to prove that the law doesn't matter because he was wrong. But it does. There are multiple people at fault here, not just him. It's too bad of a lesson for the kid to learn, because the kid is not at fault here, but if that guy ever dreamed of hitting a jackpot he should've bought the tickets himself.

                *I don't believe vendors make anything on jackpot scratcher tickets.

                **On a jackpot winning ticket, they could see the video and once the guy comes in to claim they could see that he's not the kid in the video.

                The camera never lies, as if people aren't aware enough that their lives and every move is being watched everywhere on camera.

                Sometimes you do the right thing just because it’s right.

                  SaintAndiesPl's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
                  Yonkers, NY
                  United States
                  Member #127826
                  May 10, 2012
                  129 Posts
                  Offline

                  I think this is a losing case cause #1.. the father must have known no one under 18 can't gamble and buy tickets. All the judge have to ask is did you knew it was illegal for your son to buy tickets???  and if he says yes.. case over. The store was in the wrong but so was the dad.. What was wrong with walking in the store with our son and buy tickets????  sad.. in a weird turn of events if the dad did went in and brought tickets ..would he have picked out the winning scratcher???  That is one to ponder about lol Bash

                  It Takes More Than a Dollar and a Dream :)

                    sam9009's avatar - bck
                    25
                    Brooklyn, NY
                    United States
                    Member #78505
                    August 16, 2009
                    31909 Posts
                    Offline

                    This is crazy. I don't care if a 5 year old bought it, it's still a winning ticket.

                    I'm pretty sure it's not the kid's signature that's on the back of the scratcher.

                    I hope they win.

                    Invictus maneo

                      Avatar

                      United States
                      Member #164719
                      March 12, 2015
                      1300 Posts
                      Offline

                      Attorney:  The kid wasnt buying tickets. What he did is transport the money from his father, who was buying the tickets, to the clerk, and then transported the tickets immediately to the buyer, the dad, who was in the car right outside the store. Probably couldnt find a parking spot. 

                      Judge:  Well, when you put it that way --- I find for the plaintiff. Hurray!

                      FREE DA MONEY!!!

                        Avatar
                        orlando,fl
                        United States
                        Member #89875
                        April 17, 2010
                        264 Posts
                        Offline

                        This is crazy. I don't care if a 5 year old bought it, it's still a winning ticket.

                        I'm pretty sure it's not the kid's signature that's on the back of the scratcher.

                        I hope they win.

                        Exactly. Now if the 16 year old tried to cash it in I can see it but they are doing everything they can not to pay out. I hope they win as well.

                          lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

                          United States
                          Member #118605
                          November 4, 2011
                          1429 Posts
                          Offline

                          We all knew from almost the beginning of this story CA Lottery was going to try to prevent paying because of the kid's age.  WHAT A CROCK.  As someone mentioned, he was only buying the tickets for his father.  If there was no father in sight, then a different outcome, this is so asinine.  I hope CA LOTTERY LOSES THIS ONE.

                            haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                            Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
                            United States
                            Member #112964
                            June 29, 2011
                            4135 Posts
                            Offline

                            As an 8 year old who was routinely sent down to the corner store for a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and a carton of smokes  LOL,  I see nothing wrong with with this.  The kid was acting as his father's agent. 

                            FREE THE MONEY!!!

                            [It's amazing how they had no problems IDing the kid but couldnt ID who bought the $60 million super lotto ticket and lost it a couple of years ago. 

                            California screwed that guy, is trying to screw this guy, screws everybody with the pari-mutuel system, and screws superlotto players because winning tickets are maybe once a year.]

                             

                            FREE THE MONEY!  Boxing

                            I also was sent to the store for smokes as a kid...31 cents a pack then. LOL!

                             

                            These deadbeats are just looking for excuses to not pay up !

                            Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.