Disputed Ticket Worth $20,000
A Westborough, Massachusetts man faces a charge of larceny in the alleged theft of a lottery scratch ticket believed to be a $20,000 winner.
According to the ticket buyer, the lottery agent claimed the ticket was only worth $100 and then refused to return it to the buyer.
Erika Schmitt, 18, said Monday she bought a lottery ticket and scratched it while at a Quick Mart convenience store in Westborough.
"I was scratching and it was all stars, 10 stars. And I said, 'I think I won $20,000 because I have 10 stars,' and he snatched it out of my hand," said Schmitt.
"So she was just scratching and he grabbed it right away and said, 'No, you only won $100,' and told her to get out and spend her money," said Schmitt's friend Virginia Orlando.
Schmitt said she asked the clerk to let her check the ticket repeatedly.
"(Schmitt asked the storeowner) 'Let me see the ticket,' and he would not let me see it. He absolutely would not let me see it to make sure it was only six stars. He would not give me the ticket," said Schmitt.
Quick Mart storeowner Antoine Reyche was in court Friday after Schmitt contacted the police.
Reyche refused to produce the ticket for authorities. The Massachusetts Lottery Commission told investigators that a $20,000 ticket was in the group sent to the Quick Mart. Schmitt had another ticket purchased at about the same time.
Westborough police say Schmitt has a good case. On Friday, the lottery stopped sales at the Westborough Quick Mart.
"With the numbers that we have from the tickets that were bought afterwards, along with the confirmation from the lottery commission that there was a $20,000 ticket sold, " said Westborough police Chief Alan Gordon.
Reyche will return to court on Monday for a formal arraignment.
Schmitt, a college freshman, lives with an ill aunt and said they could really use the money.
"He took advantage of her, he basically robbed her. She didn't want to get him in trouble. He stole $20,000 from her. Nobody needs it more than her," said Schmitt's friend, Billy.
According to the Westborough police report, Reyche tried to pay Schmitt an additional $100 to drop her claim. She refused and contacted police.