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Virginia woman threw out lottery ticket worth $100,000

Aug 9, 2021, 11:55 am

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Virginia LotteryVirginia Lottery: Virginia woman threw out lottery ticket worth $100,000Rating:

Clerk's second glance saved the day

By Kate Northrop

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia Lottery player was absolutely sure that her lottery tickets were "losers" so she threw them away, not realizing there was a winning ticket worth $100,000 among them.

Luckily for Maria Pollard of Chester, a lottery retailer clerk saved her from losing a tear-jerking $100,000 when she mistakenly tossed her tickets in the trash.

Pollard had stopped at the Walmart on Sheila Lane in Richmond and picked up three scratch-off's, one of which was a ticket from the $5 "Money Maker Crossword 5X" game.

She didn't realize it, but that ticket held the very first of six $100,000 top prizes waiting to be claimed. Instead, Pollard threw it in the trash. According to the player, none of the tickets she bought appeared to be winners when she scratched them.

A sales associate at the Walmart was in the right frame of mind to double check the tickets that the would-be winner threw out and told Pollard that one of them looked to be a winner.

What did Pollard have to lose? At most, $100,000, so she took a trip to a Lottery office to check it out. Turns out, the "losing" ticket wasn't a loser after all.

Now, the winner said, she'll hope to take her family on a vacation this year, something that might not have been possible were it not for the store clerk's eye for detail.

The "Money Maker Crossword 5X" game, which launched in June, is part of the Virginia Lottery's Crossword 5X series of scratch-off's. Now that Pollard claimed her prize, there are five top prizes of $100,000 remaining, as well as 44 out of 48 second prizes of $2,000 and 100 out of 117 third prizes of $500 left to claim.

The odds of winning the top prize in the game are about 1 in 1.22 million, while the odds of winning any prize are 1 in 3.83.

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18 comments. Last comment 2 months ago by GiveFive.
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s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
Hard Luck, Ak
United States
Member #23471
October 13, 2005
402 Posts
Offline

Congrats! Glad it was caught in time!

"We make a living by what you get, You make a LIFE by what you give!"

                                                               Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

    winwoman's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg
    Atlanta
    United States
    Member #44923
    August 11, 2006
    34 Posts
    Offline

    So proud of the clerks honesty

    Don't Second Guess Your First Instinct. Go With You First Intuition. Jester

      hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

      United States
      Member #52343
      May 21, 2007
      3394 Posts
      Offline

      So proud of the clerks honesty

      Rare clerk indeed... must've been tough to resist stealing  👍 

        Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
        Bronx ny
        United States
        Member #158510
        August 25, 2014
        782 Posts
        Offline

        Rare clerk indeed... must've been tough to resist stealing  👍 

        It isn't stealing. The customer threw the ticket away. What is amazing is what possessed the clerk to go in the garbage and return the tossed ticket to the customer.

          rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
          100
          Texas
          United States
          Member #55887
          October 23, 2007
          12027 Posts
          Offline

          It isn't stealing. The customer threw the ticket away. What is amazing is what possessed the clerk to go in the garbage and return the tossed ticket to the customer.

          Technically may not be stealing. But, there is a right from wrong.

          The clerk was an honest person. Which is getting harder to find these days.

          CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

          A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #136773
            December 18, 2012
            37 Posts
            Offline

            It isn't stealing. The customer threw the ticket away. What is amazing is what possessed the clerk to go in the garbage and return the tossed ticket to the customer.

            I suspect the trash can was full at the time and when the customer tossed the ticket it was on top so the store clerk could see it.  I am sure the store clerk has seen enough winning scratch off lottery tickets to know what one looks like. When she saw the customer throw the ticket away she spoke up instead of getting out the trash for herself once the customer left the store.

              Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
              Bronx ny
              United States
              Member #158510
              August 25, 2014
              782 Posts
              Offline

              I suspect the trash can was full at the time and when the customer tossed the ticket it was on top so the store clerk could see it.  I am sure the store clerk has seen enough winning scratch off lottery tickets to know what one looks like. When she saw the customer throw the ticket away she spoke up instead of getting out the trash for herself once the customer left the store.

              I saw on a you tube video this guy would go through the garbage and would find winning scratchers that people threw away. Apparently the purchasers of said scratchers don't read the instructions on the ticket. Ironically the store that sells the tickets usually have a bar code reader. All one needs to do is uncover the bar code and scan the ticket. Heck you can do it on a smartphone!!!!

                hlamb's avatar - batman47
                sarasota,fl
                United States
                Member #116796
                September 19, 2011
                21 Posts
                Offline

                It would not have been stealing if the woman threw it away, now if the clerk had told her it was a loser when it was really a winner that would be stealing.

                BNaked

                  hlamb's avatar - batman47
                  sarasota,fl
                  United States
                  Member #116796
                  September 19, 2011
                  21 Posts
                  Offline

                  What gets me is, without the due diligence and honesty of the clerk the woman would not have won $100,000 and yet she doesn't say anything about rewarding the clerk for her keen eye and honesty. I understand wanting to take your family on a much needed vacation,  but without the clerk a vacation with no worries about costs or upcoming bills probably would not be possible.

                  BNaked

                    Avatar
                    Gallatin Tennesee
                    United States
                    Member #194096
                    November 29, 2018
                    98 Posts
                    Offline

                    A lot of those "Crossword" scratch off can be a little complicated for people who are not veteran players. I once almost threw away a $500 win because I did not realize that the $10 ticket I purchased had an extra bonus scratch area on the back of the ticket. Sometimes you have to take the time to actually read the instructions. She was very lucky. I would have given the honest clerk some type of monetary compensation.

                    WinkSmileUS Flag

                      lakerben's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
                      100
                      New Mexico
                      United States
                      Member #86096
                      January 29, 2010
                      19189 Posts
                      Online

                      What gets me is, without the due diligence and honesty of the clerk the woman would not have won $100,000 and yet she doesn't say anything about rewarding the clerk for her keen eye and honesty. I understand wanting to take your family on a much needed vacation,  but without the clerk a vacation with no worries about costs or upcoming bills probably would not be possible.

                      I Agree!

                      The systems are free to use . The smart ones use them and win.  The jealous ones miss out on $.

                        MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

                        Norway
                        Member #9517
                        December 10, 2004
                        1824 Posts
                        Offline

                        How is it even possible? I check my tickets(scratchers and lottery ones) carefully before throwing them away.

                        I'll bet a  lot of money goes to clerks who checks tickets thrown away.

                          hlamb's avatar - batman47
                          sarasota,fl
                          United States
                          Member #116796
                          September 19, 2011
                          21 Posts
                          Offline

                          True

                          BNaked

                            Avatar
                            Simpsonville
                            United States
                            Member #163182
                            January 22, 2015
                            2723 Posts
                            Offline

                            What gets me is, without the due diligence and honesty of the clerk the woman would not have won $100,000 and yet she doesn't say anything about rewarding the clerk for her keen eye and honesty. I understand wanting to take your family on a much needed vacation,  but without the clerk a vacation with no worries about costs or upcoming bills probably would not be possible.

                            I Agree!   That too was my very first thought and kept thinking maybe it'll be in the article later on.

                            Though rare indeed, when I win $600 on pick 3 or 4 here I give the clerk a $20.  Honestly cannot remember how much the clerk got for the $5K win since she did the paperwork with my chicken scratch penmanship.   (As for snail mail, the IRS paperwork came the NEXT day!)