Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited September 24, 2021, 7:20 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Italian store owner who reportedly stole €500,000 lottery ticket blocked from leaving country

Sep 7, 2021, 4:25 pm

Share this news story on Facebook
Tweet this news story on Twitter
Italy Lottery (Italia)Italy Lottery (Italia): Italian store owner who reportedly stole €500,000 lottery ticket blocked from leaving countryRating:

Police still on the hunt for top prize-winning lottery ticket

By Kate Northrop

NAPLES, Italy — An Italian shopkeeper just narrowly missed escaping the country after he was accused of stealing a winning scratch-off lottery ticket worth €500,000 (US$592,385) from a customer.

The owner of a tobacco store in Naples ran off with a top prize-winning lottery ticket he allegedly swiped from a customer looking to verify the ticket's win, but he claims there is more to the story than meets the eye.

On Friday, an anonymous 69-year-old woman visited a tobacco shop to verify a lifechanging win. She had bought two lottery tickets from the retailer earlier, and after scratching one of them, the lucky woman discovered that she had scooped up a €500,000 top prize.

The winner, who couldn't believe what she was seeing, handed the ticket over to an employee to confirm that it was indeed worth such a huge sum, who in turn gave the ticket to shop owner Gaetano Scutellaro, 57. The employee wanted the owner to give it an additional look, just to be sure.

What happened next led Italian police on a manhunt to find an allegedly stolen lottery ticket worth hundreds of thousands of euros.

Just after being handed the lottery ticket, Scutellaro dashed away on his moped and vanished.

The nameless woman reported the tobacconist for theft moments after the incident took place. The Italian tax office then froze the scratch-off tickets being sold in the tobacco store to prevent anyone from wrongfully cashing in the win.

On Sunday, two days after he disappeared, Scutellaro was stopped by border guards at Rome's Fiumicino Airport right before he was able to board a flight to Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, but he did not have the coveted lottery ticket in his possession. He was arrested by police.

He also claimed that the ticket rightfully belonged to him.

"I bought the ticket from a mate of mine the day before," Scutellaro told inews24. "I only asked the lady to go and collect the winnings, which I thought amounted only to 500 euro. I decided to leave Naples out of fear for my life. I had no idea about the woman's accusations against me when I was arrested at the airport."

Scutellaro explained that the tobacco store is actually owned by his ex-wife, with whom he does not share a good relationship, so he couldn't collect the winnings himself.

He said that the surveillance video camera outside his shop told a different story than what his accuser originally described. According to the tobacconist, he recalled waiting outside the store on his moped. When the woman walked outside, she told him that he needed to take the lottery ticket to a bank and store it in a safe deposit box since it was worth such a large amount.

"I took the scratch card and left," Scutellaro argued. "This was all recorded by the security camera outside the shop."

As of now, Scutellaro remains the primary suspect in the debacle, but he does not have any charges against him since police did not find the missing ticket in his possession. He revealed to authorities that he placed the winning ticket in a bank located in the city of Latina, about a two-hour drive from Naples, and that he opened a new bank account for the winnings to be deposited into.

The investigation is ongoing, but Scutellaro says that he plans on suing the woman for defamation. Depending on how the case progresses, the Customs and Monopoly Agency, which regulates and oversees the lottery and gambling industry in Italy, could revoke his shop's retailer license.

"When we have retrieved the ticket, it will be my responsibility to return it to the legitimate owner," Marcella Minenna, Director of the Customs and Monopoly Agency said on the issue. "I am certain this story will have a happy ending."

Lottery Post Staff

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

9 comments. Last comment 16 days ago by adulane62.
Page 1 of 1
Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
Bronx ny
United States
Member #158510
August 25, 2014
770 Posts
Offline

Ay. Paisano you checkah. Diss.ticket for me?  Itza. No good lady give to me I put ta.inna. da. Gar.bagga.

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

    Mr. Scutellaro is learning the hard way that when you bunch together a bunch of lies, it starts to sound like a bunch of lies. So he expects us to believe that he is so stupid that he thought a 500,000 dollar ticket was worth only $500. He also says the video cameras would clear him. Really? Cameras without microphones will do him no good. And finally he says he was running to the Canary Islands because he "feared for his life". If you are going to use that as an excuse you should at least provide some evidence that your life is in peril. The truth is he tried to rob this poor old lady of half a million, and got caught.  Apparently stupidity crosses all borders.

    No NoThinking of...

      sully16's avatar - sharan
      25
      Dr.President Elect
      Michigan
      United States
      Member #81738
      October 28, 2009
      89788 Posts
      Online

      " Dashed away on his Moped"Green laughwould like to hear how this finally ends up.

       US Flag

        hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

        United States
        Member #52343
        May 21, 2007
        3388 Posts
        Offline

        " Dashed away on his Moped"Green laughwould like to hear how this finally ends up.

        you and me both 😏

          Avatar
          Simpsonville
          United States
          Member #163182
          January 22, 2015
          2693 Posts
          Online

          " Dashed away on his Moped"Green laughwould like to hear how this finally ends up.

          Now that's a video I'd love to see.   And now the ticket is frozen and can't cash it! 

            db101's avatar - RB55Ms1

            United States
            Member #202920
            December 14, 2019
            397 Posts
            Offline

            Ay. Paisano you checkah. Diss.ticket for me?  Itza. No good lady give to me I put ta.inna. da. Gar.bagga.

            Green laugh
            This is the most Italian story I have ever read, and I read all the Elena Ferrante novels.

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

              Green laugh
              This is the most Italian story I have ever read, and I read all the Elena Ferrante novels.

              Attention all lottery players: NEVER hand over your lottery ticket to a store owner or stranger. Also read the instructions on the ticket. And sign the back of the ticket . Go to lottery headquarters. They will validate and cash for you!

                Avatar
                Marana AZ
                United States
                Member #145335
                August 3, 2013
                271 Posts
                Offline

                He had 2 days to come up with a story and the best he could do was he asked the woman to cash it for him because of he didn't want his wife to get the money?  Would that be the 500 Euros he claimed he thought the ticket was worth?

                  adulane62's avatar - file php?avatar=16228.gif
                  From Denver, Rocky Mountain Empire,
                  United States
                  Member #49748
                  February 13, 2007
                  567 Posts
                  Offline

                  He who steals old ladies lotto tickets shall face the Cosa Nostra and bada bing bada boom will be swimming wid da fishes! Capiche?

                  Now hand over those union dues - our money, presto!

                                                                         Go Broncos!  White Bounce