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Massachusetts store clerk steals player's winning scratch-off ticket worth $1,000

Jul 20, 2021, 12:07 pm

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Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Massachusetts store clerk steals player's winning scratch-off ticket worth $1,000Rating:

Retailer worker cheats winner of half her prize

By Kate Northrop

ROSLINDALE, Mass. — A Massachusetts player reached out to the Massachusetts Lottery for help after allegedly being swindled of half her prize on a winning scratch-off ticket by a store clerk.

After winning a decent prize on a scratch-off lottery ticket, Amelia Smith said she was ripped off by the clerk at the Roslindale Food Mart when he crumpled the validation slip and cheated her of $500.

Smith visited the retailer on Washington Street in Roslindale and bought a bunch of scratch-off tickets. One of them, a $5 "Gem Mine 50X" ticket, won her a sizable prize.

"I had three lemons, three horseshoes... three keys on one," Smith recalled after playing the instant games in her car. "I had three, three, three, you know, three symbols indicating that I won. My ticket made me excited, like 'woo, woo, woo!'"

When she walked back into the store to claim her winnings, she was sure she won at least $500. The machine played a happy jingle when the clerk scanned her ticket and confirmed she was correct.

"It said, 'beep,' the sound of the machine, and then a pink slip came out, and he just grabbed it," Smith told 5 Investigates.

However, the clerk refused to give her both the winning validation slip and her lottery ticket.

The two quarreled over the incident, and after some time the clerk gave her $500 in cash. Despite walking away from the store with the money in-hand, Smith still felt that something was off.

"I called the lottery people and the police," she said.

Besides typing up a police report, the Boston Police were of little help. However, the Lottery investigated the issue further.

"It would appear that what [the clerk] did was he took the validation slip, kind of crumpled it up quickly, threw it away or otherwise disposed of it, kept it away from the customer, and attempted to pay her approximately $500 in cash," Lottery Director Michael Sweeney said in an interview with WCVB.

Sweeney confirmed that the lottery ticket was worth $1,000, not $500.

"We do occasionally run into a situation where there seems to have been some level of malicious intent, if not outright criminality, potentially involved by someone at the store," Sweeney continued. "Most [retailer employees] are very hard-working individual owners... and they do a near-flawless job on a day-to-day basis, but it does happen, and when it happens, we take it seriously because the integrity of the product and customer satisfaction is of the highest concern for us."

According to Lottery investigators, the clerk at the Roslindale Food Mart tried to keep Smith's ticket to cash in on the winnings for himself. However, Smith did not let up. She made multiple trips to the store, after which the clerk gave her more money, but she still did not know how much she actually won since she did not have her winning lottery ticket.

In the end, the Lottery fully paid out the prize Smith deserved, and the clerk who stole the ticket was reportedly fired from his job. The store's lottery retailer license is also under investigation.

"The theft — it's wrong," Smith said, exasperated. "I really feel like, oh my goodness, it's so wrong. You know, who can you trust?"

The Lottery highly recommends that players take a photo of the front and back of their tickets and download the Lottery's mobile app to check winnings on their phone.

The $5 "Gem Mine 50X" game that Smith played offers three top prizes of $1 million, 210 second prizes of $2,000, and 2,940 third prizes of $1,000.

Lottery Post Staff

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28 comments. Last comment 4 days ago by Bleudog101.
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ThatScaryChick's avatar - giphy11resized
Idaho
United States
Member #56504
November 21, 2007
6936 Posts
Offline

I'm glad the lottery paid out her full winnings and that the thief was fired, but he should have criminal charges brought against him as well.

"twitter - youtube - steam - tumblr - instagram"

ThatScaryChick

    rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
    100
    Texas
    United States
    Member #55887
    October 23, 2007
    11517 Posts
    Offline

    This is one of the reasons I buy almost all my tix from the same little store, and have for the last several years. They know me, I know them, and they are honest people.

    Even though that clerk should be prosecuted, she should have been able to determine what the ticket was worth before trying to claim her prize.

    CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

    A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

      Avatar
      Chasing $ Millions.
      White Shores- California
      United States
      Member #136471
      December 12, 2012
      6681 Posts
      Offline

      * Better yet, get the app for your State lottery games, l know it's got to be free.

      • Second, you don't have to guess whether you holding a winning ticket or scratcher & if you run into this sort of thing- whip out your phone and tell the clerk " l know l won X amount." In short: take command of the situation, it's your money & don't back down!

      * Last resort, jump the counter & put a half Nelson on the clerk until the cops show up. That should put a stop to this nonsense ever happening to you again.Big Smile

       * Voice of Reason *   

      * The Truth Hurts *

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

        Avatar
        New Member
        Eugene, OR
        United States
        Member #186911
        January 5, 2018
        6 Posts
        Offline

        Can a Massachusetts retailer pay out $1,000 winning ticket?  Everywhere I've lived (CO and OR) anything $600 and up has to be claimed at the Lottery Claims office. 

        Also, how "good" is the MA lottery app?  I ask because the Oregon app was great, you scanned a winning ticket and it told you how much you won with a little fireworks graphic.  The Colorado lottery app however, sucks hard.  If you scan a ticket it will either say "sorry this ticket is not a winner" or it will say "this ticket may be a winner.  Check with your lottery retailer to confirm".  The CO app doesn't say how much you've won.

          sully16's avatar - sharan
          25
          Dr.President Elect
          Michigan
          United States
          Member #81738
          October 28, 2009
          87766 Posts
          Offline

          * Better yet, get the app for your State lottery games, l know it's got to be free.

          • Second, you don't have to guess whether you holding a winning ticket or scratcher & if you run into this sort of thing- whip out your phone and tell the clerk " l know l won X amount." In short: take command of the situation, it's your money & don't back down!

          * Last resort, jump the counter & put a half Nelson on the clerk until the cops show up. That should put a stop to this nonsense ever happening to you again.Big Smile

          Well, you truly amaze me , assault the clerk and wait for the Cops....lol  AND.... you were top 3? of what?

          I think the clerk should face criminal charges, I think beating him senseless is just another crime.

           US Flag

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #180546
            March 12, 2017
            217 Posts
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            Unfortunately this is probably extremely easy to do in a state where over 100,000 players per day win over $1,000.

            I am the Prince of Thieves!!!

              Avatar
              New York
              United States
              Member #103596
              January 4, 2011
              7132 Posts
              Offline

              Not only is the clerk a thief, he's a dope. $1,000 winner needs to be paid out at a claim center at which a tax form will be provided. He pays the winner $500 so only got a $500 differential of which taxes will eat up much of that (subsequently has to give her more money in hopes of making issue disappear). If he has another way of evading his taxes, would've been better off asking the winner if she would accept cash payout for something less than $1,000 explaining she would otherwise have to take the claim ticket to a claim center and declare on her taxes; still illegal but maybe he gets away with that. If he was willing to do this crime for so little, chances are this is not his first illegal act as a clerk.

                Avatar
                Chasing $ Millions.
                White Shores- California
                United States
                Member #136471
                December 12, 2012
                6681 Posts
                Offline

                * What did l say about you pouncing on any & everything l post? Your actions make you a tool a troll, but here you are, stalking again. Do you have a reading problem, when someone says " stay away, you interpret it as come closer?"

                *You making it a career of following me, and you embarrassing yourself in the process.

                * In a word you like  using on me- why not " just shove it."

                 * Voice of Reason *   

                * The Truth Hurts *

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

                  sully16's avatar - sharan
                  25
                  Dr.President Elect
                  Michigan
                  United States
                  Member #81738
                  October 28, 2009
                  87766 Posts
                  Offline

                  * What did l say about you pouncing on any & everything l post? Your actions make you a tool a troll, but here you are, stalking again. Do you have a reading problem, when someone says " stay away, you interpret it as come closer?"

                  *You making it a career of following me, and you embarrassing yourself in the process.

                  * In a word you like  using on me- why not " just shove it."

                  I don't take orders from you, and watch the name calling.

                   US Flag

                    Avatar
                    Chasing $ Millions.
                    White Shores- California
                    United States
                    Member #136471
                    December 12, 2012
                    6681 Posts
                    Offline

                    * Your behavior is pedantic, but you obviously didn't know it until l brought it to your attention. You either hate me enough to attempt to dissect everything l post or you infatuated with me.

                    • You don't see me going around looking for you or your posts to throw in my two cents, why? Because not only do l not care, but l not find you that important.
                      I respect people until they expose themselves as being what they truly are- nuisances. The forum is a place to have " Fun" your actions are to create chaos or pick a fight with people who do not share your outlook on life. 

                    • Grow up.

                     * Voice of Reason *   

                    * The Truth Hurts *

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

                      sully16's avatar - sharan
                      25
                      Dr.President Elect
                      Michigan
                      United States
                      Member #81738
                      October 28, 2009
                      87766 Posts
                      Offline

                      * Your behavior is pedantic, but you obviously didn't know it until l brought it to your attention. You either hate me enough to attempt to dissect everything l post or you infatuated with me.

                      • You don't see me going around looking for you or your posts to throw in my two cents, why? Because not only do l not care, but l not find you that important.
                        I respect people until they expose themselves as being what they truly are- nuisances. The forum is a place to have " Fun" your actions are to create chaos or pick a fight with people who do not share your outlook on life. 

                      • Grow up.

                      Remember your words when you attack me in the blogs.

                       US Flag

                        Avatar
                        Chasing $ Millions.
                        White Shores- California
                        United States
                        Member #136471
                        December 12, 2012
                        6681 Posts
                        Offline
                        • You have no blog that l am invited to comment on, you and your brothers in arms have blocked me. That's a fact Jack! 

                        • l think l invade your dreams like Freddy Krueger, do l keep you up at night? Constantly turning around " where is he, where is he?" Approve

                         * Voice of Reason *   

                        * The Truth Hurts *

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

                          sully16's avatar - sharan
                          25
                          Dr.President Elect
                          Michigan
                          United States
                          Member #81738
                          October 28, 2009
                          87766 Posts
                          Offline
                          • You have no blog that l am invited to comment on, you and your brothers in arms have blocked me. That's a fact Jack! 

                          • l think l invade your dreams like Freddy Krueger, do l keep you up at night? Constantly turning around " where is he, where is he?" Approve

                          I'm not the one crying victim, you are. Heads up, you continue to keep dialog going, Why

                          And that's not a fact, you are not blocked on all the blogs, and attack me every chance you get.

                           US Flag

                            TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                            A long and winding road
                            United States
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                            June 10, 2005
                            6591 Posts
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                            Interesting article.

                            Important facts:

                            Claim not distributed in accordance with win.

                            Clerk dispenses half the total winnings.

                            Claimant files complaint.

                            Police consider 500$ , petty theft. No arrest.

                            Clerk loses job.

                            Store keeps it's retailer lottery license. 

                            Claimant receives full win compensation. 

                             

                            Deep dive:

                            The reality is: even if you know the amount, the clerk can still hoodwink. So same results. Does the app play a police siren to scare the clerk into paying up. The system is only as good as the retailers and players....

                            Count your smiles.