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$175,000 Mega Millions Ticket Dispute

Jan 3, 2004, 9:08 pm

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Mega MillionsMega Millions: $175,000 Mega Millions Ticket Dispute

Two traders for the Chicago Board Options Exchange filed a police complaint Friday against a trading clerk who they claim pocketed their $175,000 Mega Millions lottery ticket this week.

But a family friend says she doesn't believe the clerk, whom she has known for 22 years, could have stolen anything.

"She's a very honest, trustworthy person," said Carole Masterson, whose brother is the father of the clerk's two children. "I don't think she'd do something like this. She's not stupid."

Traders, identified by police as Richard Tobin and Richard Lakawalle, spread out their lottery tickets along a police counter on Friday. They insisted the winning ticket was among the 38 that Tobin's 21-year-old son Matthew Tobin bought on Tuesday afternoon for a conglomerate of 16 traders.

Chicago police said the traders accuse the 44-year-old trading clerk of "deceptive practice," but police say the complaint could be changed to theft.

"They sent her to check the tickets, saying, 'See if we come up a winner,' " said Capt. James Knightly. "She's saying she never had the ticket."

The store owner at A & B Tobacco, where the trading clerk went to redeem any winnings, said the clerk signed her name and address on the back of the winning ticket but later returned to the store with Tobin and other traders and claimed she never had the ticket.

The trading clerk was sent home on leave Wednesday, police said. Traders had publicly hounded her for hours demanding the ticket before she left. The Sun-Times is not naming the clerk because she hasn't been charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, lottery officials say no one has presented the first-place ticket for payment. The lottery will hold off paying a winner for 10 business days, allowing the disputed ownership to clear up or a lawsuit to be filed. Mega Millions lottery rules insist that winnings cannot be awarded without the original ticket.

There have been disputes over who owns lottery tickets, notably the 1993 case of Carol Ann Stonecipher of Kane County, who had the winning ticket in an $11 million drawing. She later sued successfully for the full amount after the store and its clerk tried to claim five duplicate tickets that came out of the machine in error as their own.

But there has never been a case in which the winners couldn't claim their award because the ticket had been misplaced by a third party, said Mike Freedlund, legal counsel for the Illinois Lottery.

"I would have to call out the attorney general to see whether we could pay it or not without the actual ticket," Freedlund said. "We just want to follow the rules and the law."

Chicago Sun Times

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6 comments. Last comment 17 years ago by CASH Only.
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RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
50
mid-Ohio
United States
Member #9
March 24, 2001
20272 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 3, 2004, 10:45 pm - IP Logged

This is a case where a trip by the copy machine to make a copy of the tickets for everyone in the conglomerate would prove their ownership of the ticket.  So called honest and trustworthy people steel everyday without a second thought, they take office supplies, they make personal calls on their company 800 line, they browse the Internet on company time, they copy copyrighted software, movies and records and they may even claim an unsigned lottery tickets.  I don't feel sorry for these traders because there were many things they should have done to protect themselves in addition to taking the time to check their own tickets.

RJOh 

 * you don't need to buy every combination, just the winning ones * 

Thumbs Up       

    JAZZY JASPER's avatar - scenery water_mountains.jpg

    United States
    Member #786
    October 14, 2002
    2723 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 4, 2004, 1:34 am - IP Logged

    Hmmm!

    "It's not easy, being, GREEN! "


     

      hypersoniq's avatar - binary
      Pennsylvania
      United States
      Member #1340
      April 6, 2003
      2450 Posts
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      Posted: January 4, 2004, 11:25 am - IP Logged

      Idiots... they should have checked their own tickets.

      I agree with RJOh, copies should have been made...

      unsigned tickets are "HOT", that's just common knowledge.

      Playing more than one ticket per game is betting against yourself.

        Avatar
        New Member

        United States
        Member #3231
        January 4, 2004
        1 Posts
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        Posted: January 4, 2004, 8:29 pm - IP Logged

        It  must be hard to be as smart as the two proffesional lottery losers!!

          hypersoniq's avatar - binary
          Pennsylvania
          United States
          Member #1340
          April 6, 2003
          2450 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 4, 2004, 9:22 pm - IP Logged
          Quote: Originally posted by hcarl11 on January 04, 2004


          It  must be hard to be as smart as the two proffesional lottery losers!!



          at least we're consistent ;-)

          Playing more than one ticket per game is betting against yourself.


            United States
            Member #379
            June 5, 2002
            11296 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 6, 2004, 8:26 am - IP Logged

            And now someone lost(?) a $162m ticket...