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California man learns $10 million reason not to tell your roommate if you win the lottery

Jan 9, 2019, 5:55 pm

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California LotteryCalifornia Lottery: California man learns $10 million reason not to tell your roommate if you win the lotteryRating:

This past Christmas, a man in Vacaville, Calif., learned a grim, but useful, holiday lesson: Sometimes, don't spread glad tidings. Keep the good news to yourself.

It was Dec. 20, and the city of about 100,000, located midway between Sacramento and San Francisco, was festooned with white lights and toy reindeer. Hoping to get his hands on a bit of extra cash for the holidays, the Vacaville man went to a Lucky grocery store and paid $30 for a scratch-off lottery ticket that odds said would leave him at a loss.

But the ticket turned out to be a winner, and promised to flood his bank account with $10,000, or so he thought. The lucky lottery contestant couldn't contain his excitement. He returned home to tell his two roommates of his financial success.

He would rue the day he ignored the warning of Shakespeare's King Learto, "Mend your speech a little, Lest you may mar your fortunes."

The next morning, he reported to the Sacramento district office of the California State Lottery to collect his winnings. But the ticket he presented was not a winner.

Suspecting that one of his roommates had purloined the winning ticket while he was sleeping, the man went to the local police department, which recounted the episode Tuesday on Facebook. Chris Polen, a spokesman with the Vacaville Police Department, said authorities weren't naming the man at his request.

It didn't take long for police to unwind the mystery of the good ticket gone bad. The following day, on Dec. 22, the man's 35-year-old roommate, Adul Saosongyang, attempted to cash in on a winning scratch-off ticket at the same lottery office in Sacramento, police said.

But the winning ticket wasn't worth a meager $10,000, the roommate was told. It was worth $10 million.

California lottery officials, yet to be informed that a ticket had been reported stolen, nevertheless began a routine investigation, conducted for all winnings of $600 and up. Collecting a prize of such a sum involves submitting a detailed claim form, either in person at a district office or else in the mail, according to the state lottery.

The lottery investigator who went to the Lucky in Vacaville to view video surveillance footage of the original Dec. 20 purchase learned that the ticket may have been stolen, according to the police department's account. Theft of lottery tickets is relatively common. Numerous scratch-off winners have later been unmasked for stealing the tickets, either from friends or from the grocery stores where they were employed.

The lottery is a magnet for elaborate scams. But the high-stakes contest can also motivate more petty forms of personal betrayal.

The lottery investigator teamed up with a Vacaville detective to get to the bottom of things. Who had purchased the initial scratch-off game? Who was responsible for the ticket presented the following day? And who was destined for the $10 million?

What they say they uncovered was an elaborate attempt by Saosongyang to seize his roommate's reward. He had allegedly purchased a similar scratch card and then swapped it out for the winning ticket while his unsuspecting roommate was sleeping.

On Monday, the investigator summoned Saosongyang to the Sacramento office to collect his winnings. Instead of rejoicing in the windfall, however, he was arrested by Vacaville police, who had obtained a warrant for him on the charge of grand theft. He was booked at the Sacramento County Jail and will be transferred to the Solano County Jail later this week, authorities said. In California, grand theft can be classified either as a misdemeanor or a felony, which determines whether a defendant can be sentenced to up to one year in county jail or up to three years in state prison; it wasn't clear which type of charge Saosongyang would face.

Meanwhile, Polen, the police spokesman, said lottery officials were discussing the winnings with the victim. He said he couldn't be certain that the man would receive payment.

"Although, I'm sure everything will work out in the end," he concluded in an email, adding a smiley face.

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

Thanks to KY Floyd for the tip.

Washington Post

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41 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Technut.
Page 1 of 3
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United States
Member #164719
March 12, 2015
1300 Posts
Offline

Collecting a prize of such a sum involves submitting a detailed claim form, either in person at a district office or else in the mail, according to the state lottery.

 

I'd like to a claim form

    Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

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

    .

    To: Samsung,

    How could you do a thing like this?  Steal your roommate's ticket?

    Why?  Why? Why?
    (oh sorry, my fascination with Bruce Lee just got the better of me. . . )

    OK, well he can count on some kind of jail term, right now.

    Please folks, please remember to put your name on your ticket, as I will start doing from now on.

    And please don't ever steal anything.

    Mr. Groppo

    • 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.
      grwurston's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
      Win Today.
      In front of my computer.
      United States
      Member #90247
      April 24, 2010
      9716 Posts
      Online

      Lesson for all. Keep your mouth shut till the check is in the bank. And even then...

      "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

      The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

        Toney725's avatar - speedykat
        25
        Stone Mountain, GA
        United States
        Member #3189
        January 1, 2004
        35026 Posts
        Offline

        Lesson for all. Keep your mouth shut till the check is in the bank. And even then...

        I Agree!

          music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
          USN United States Navy
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157851
          August 2, 2014
          3959 Posts
          Offline

          William Shakespeare's King Lear speaks from the dead and is still true today.

           I sign my tickets as soon as possible after purchase.  I have stopped talking about the Lottery to anyone except for friends here on LP and some of my family. My name will be publicized after claiming the prize. That is when the celebrations begin.

           Great work by the Police and the California Lottery Officials. 

           I also make a note of the time of purchase and the number of clerks on duty as well as how many customers are in the store. This information will help confirm the video of you at the store.

           "We are all in this together!" 

            Artist77's avatar - batman14

            United States
            Member #121741
            January 16, 2012
            7729 Posts
            Offline

            I am assuming he will eventually get all the money.

            Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

              hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

              United States
              Member #52343
              May 21, 2007
              3299 Posts
              Offline

              nearly a fool & his money lesson jejeje

                TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
                Brooklyn, NY
                United States
                Member #169719
                October 29, 2015
                1497 Posts
                Offline

                When will they learn? Crime doesn't pay!

                Good work by the lottery and police. Dupe Alert

                The Meatman 🥩🍗🍔🍖🍤🌭

                “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

                Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

                  oate's avatar - AS5hcja

                  United States
                  Member #193172
                  October 22, 2018
                  491 Posts
                  Offline

                  .

                  To: Samsung,

                  How could you do a thing like this?  Steal your roommate's ticket?

                  Why?  Why? Why?
                  (oh sorry, my fascination with Bruce Lee just got the better of me. . . )

                  OK, well he can count on some kind of jail term, right now.

                  Please folks, please remember to put your name on your ticket, as I will start doing from now on.

                  And please don't ever steal anything.

                  Mr. Groppo

                  Samsung, close enough! LOL

                  Only my hairdresser knows for sure.

                    CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
                    Central TN
                    United States
                    Member #121189
                    January 4, 2012
                    4837 Posts
                    Offline

                    Samsung, close enough! LOL

                    I was thinking more along the lines of Sony

                    Integrity: There is just no substitute.

                      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                      100
                      Zeta Reticuli Star System
                      United States
                      Member #30469
                      January 17, 2006
                      11508 Posts
                      Offline

                      There have been recent articles about signing your ticket cancelling out any chance to form a trust.

                      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

                      Lep

                      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                        eddessaknight's avatar - nw paladin.jpg
                        LAS VEGAS
                        United States
                        Member #47728
                        November 22, 2006
                        7167 Posts
                        Offline

                        "When you count your money (winnings) do it in the dark!

                        ~Las Vegas saying

                          Avatar
                          Simpsonville
                          United States
                          Member #163184
                          January 22, 2015
                          2327 Posts
                          Offline

                          Always keep your mouth SHUT and sign with indelible ink from a gel pen, not regular ink which can be removed.

                          At the office or wherever 'S' works the gossip pool would have been hot.  Where is S?  Someone pipes in he's in the slammer! The boss not liking his company/corporation misrepresented by his employer's bad deeds assures 'S' he won't be employed there anymore.  Karma baby, Karma! 

                            music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
                            USN United States Navy
                            Fresno, California
                            United States
                            Member #157851
                            August 2, 2014
                            3959 Posts
                            Offline

                            There have been recent articles about signing your ticket cancelling out any chance to form a trust.

                             Each State has their own policy concerning trusts. 

                             I think that it was in New Hampshire where the woman sued the lottery after she signed it. She won her case and remains anonymous.

                             The story must be here on Lottery Post. Please use the Search box. 

                             Bleudog101, Thanks for the tip about gel pens. I never knew that.

                             "We are all in this together!"