Lottery winner's brief victory is short lived
By Kate Northrop
ELSMERE, Ky. — A Kentucky Lottery winner's celebration didn't last very long when he was arrested days after scooping up a $250,000 lottery prize.
Joseph Hellard of Elsmere was arrested right after winning $250,000 on a scratch-off ticket, bringing his emotional rollercoaster to a full stop.
On Feb. 26, Hellard stopped at the Elsmere Mini Mart on Garvey Avenue to buy some lottery tickets. The first few tickets he bought did not amount to anything, but he noticed $10 still sitting in his coat pocket as he was about to leave.
He very well could have saved it for another rainy day and driven off, but his last-minute decision to head back into the store to buy one more $10 ticket landed him a "life-changing" prize.
"I figured no matter what, I would get my money back," Hellard told Lottery officials.
At first, he revealed a $50,000 prize on the "100X" ticket, but as he played the game, he noticed a "100X" symbol.
"My eyes are so bad, I had to look at it several times," he recalled.
Revealing a "100X" symbol in this instant game means that the prize revealed next to it is multiplied by 100. Having uncovered a $1,000 prize, he racked up $100,000 more. The fun didn't end there, though. He scratched off yet another "100X" symbol next to a $1,000 prize, bringing his total winnings to $250,000. He had just won the game's top prize.
"I fell to the ground on my knees," he told the Lottery. "I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. Everything we've been through, it's sure going to help."
The Kentucky resident spoke about plans to use the timely winnings to purchase a house and brand-new vehicle.
Unfortunately, his luck did not do much to help him days after the celebration. At about 1:00 am on Mar. 2, Hellard was pulled over on Dixie Highway in Erlanger with an expired registration.
Officers brought in a K-9 unit to search his car, during which they discovered a smoking pipe "containing a white crystal substance" between the driver's seat and center console. Police reports later confirmed that the substance was methamphetamine.
Hellard was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, and driving without registration plates. Jail records indicate he was booked at the Kenton County Detention Center and that he has since bonded out.
According to the Lottery, there are three top prizes remaining in the "100X" game, as well as 28 second-tier prizes of $5,000 and 521 third-tier prizes of $1,000 left to claim. The scratch-off game was released in January of this year.
For selling the winning ticket, Elsmere Mini Mart received a $2,500 bonus commission from the Lottery.