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Rightful owner of Powerball ticket finally gets $100,000 prize

Feb 4, 2004, 5:20 am

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PowerballPowerball: Rightful owner of Powerball ticket finally gets $100,000 prize

A Morgan City, Louisiana  man whose $100,000 Powerball ticket was allegedly stolen finally got his money on Tuesday.

Charles Stone, 33, received the check at the Louisiana Lottery's Metairie office, eight days after state troopers arrested three people for allegedly altering the ticket and trying to claim the cash for themselves. A fourth suspect was arrested Jan. 29.

"I feel very lucky," said Stone, adding that he plans to "invest some, spend some" of his winnings.

Stone bought the ticket at a Houma convenience store, signed it and took it to a convenience store in his home town of Morgan City to see if it was a winner.

Four employees of that store allegedly told Stone it was not a winner, then scratched off his signature and replaced it with one of their own.

Hang Nguyen, 43, of Amelia, Nhat Nguyen, 25, of New Orleans, and Ngoc Tran, 46, of Amelia, were arrested when they tried to cash it in. Hoang Nguyen, 21, of Amelia, surrendered three days later.

The four were charged with altering lottery tickets and conspiracy to alter lottery tickets. State police said they each face sentences of 5-10 years in prison if convicted.

Kimberly Chopin, a state lottery spokeswoman, said officials suspected the ticket had been altered because the suspects took "great pains" to scratch off Stone's signature, apparently using pens with two different colors of ink.

The suspects were also unable to answer basic questions about the ticket: where it was bought and who signed it.

After a lottery drawing, Chopin said, a retailer checks to see if a customer's ticket is worth money by using a machine, which, if the ticket is worth more than $600, signals that the customer should go to a Louisiana Lottery office. The suspects allegedly saw that it was worth more than $600, but told Stone it was worthless.

Chopin urged lottery customers to sign their tickets after purchase, saying it was Stone's signature that allowed investigators to find him and inform him his ticket was a winner.

Customers can also ask the retailer for a receipt, to confirm the ticket's value, Chopin said.







   






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9 comments. Last comment 16 years ago by jacaesar.
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mayan27's avatar - Lottery-009.jpg
Minnesota
United States
Member #2426
October 2, 2003
84 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 4, 2004, 5:38 am - IP Logged

 

      I still dont understand something about these retailers who sell lottery tickets.Do lottery commission do criminal background check before entrusting them with the sales of lottery tickets or anyone can sell tickets once they own a convienance store?I am asking because retailers are getting too cunning around nowaday.All they ever want is to rob other people of their opportunity to make a difference in their lives.Sometimes,when i read such stories,i askmyself what runs through other people mind when they tried to cheat others.I hope the law take it due course and persecute them to the fullest.BEWARE PEOPLE<TRUST EVERYONE<BUT NEVER TRUST THE DEVIL IN THEM!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mana's avatar - mana
    Virginia Beach
    United States
    Member #3375
    January 16, 2004
    93 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 4, 2004, 6:40 am - IP Logged

    Wow.. ... shows signing your ticket *is* important .....

    even someone scratching it off ... they can still figure it's yours. o.o

    ... insert witty quote here ...

    ... My behavior and apperance betrays my age ... but I'm good enough ...
    besides, people in person would still be afraid to talk to meh, even if I had millions ^^;

      whodeani's avatar - lightening

      United States
      Member #2484
      October 9, 2003
      212 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 4, 2004, 7:04 am - IP Logged

      I am sure Charles Stone bought the $100,000 ticket, but I am wondering how the state lottery confirmed that it was him who bought the ticket. Being that his name was scribbled over, how did they know whose name was on the ticket? I mean anybody could have walked into the lottery office and said, "hey that was my ticket those other guys tried to cash in."

        curt777's avatar - pacman
        Palatine, IL
        United States
        Member #734
        September 24, 2002
        61 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 4, 2004, 7:35 am - IP Logged

        Let's see if I understand this...

        A guy gets a Powerball ticket and has 5 of the numbers except for the Powerball, and he takes some convienience store clerks word that it isn't a winner ???? 

        How moronic ??

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #972
          December 30, 2002
          468 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 4, 2004, 10:00 am - IP Logged

          I guess in addition to signing the ticket, you should make a photocopy before giving it to convenience store criminals. I guess even better, you should bypass the criminals and go right to lottery headquarters if it's over $600.

          Imagine how often this happens to people who win small amounts - the guy tells the little old lady the $40 ticket is a loser, tosses ticket in the trash behind the counter and cashes it himself after she leaves. 

          If they say the ticket didn't win what you thought, always insist on getting it back, and report the incident to the police, lottery owners, store owners in hopes they will soon get fired and lose their license.

            whodeani's avatar - lightening

            United States
            Member #2484
            October 9, 2003
            212 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 4, 2004, 10:27 am - IP Logged

            Curt777,

            I agree that is pretty stupid. What is worse a guy from Indiana won a $12 Million Powerball jackpot a couple of months ago and did the same thing!!!!!!! He is lucky there was an honorable clerk behind the counter. These examples stress the point why I would never let anybody else check my tickets until I have checked them first (my computer never lies) and I wouldn't take any ticket over $600 to a lottery retailer.

              fja's avatar - gnome1
              100

              United States
              Member #91
              January 19, 2002
              15177 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 6, 2004, 3:36 pm - IP Logged

              just cant believe people sometime....they love to set themselves up to be victims... and after all this time of growing up and lessons learned, still trust somebody elses word when it comes to their money. 

              "Everybody has to believe in something...I believe I'll have another beer!"   = W.C.Fields 

                Avatar
                Irvington, N.J.
                United States
                Member #2683
                November 3, 2003
                31 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 25, 2004, 10:20 am - IP Logged

                Signing the ticket doesn't matter if your family is politically connected with people who influence over employees that work with the lottery as in my case in NJ and NY.  Moreover, I signed my ticket and when I went to see the ticket although you can tell it had been wet, as you can when paper has been wet, my signature apparently had been removed by the use of a chemical and replaced with Melvin Milligan's signature, by the way who is a deceased person.  All in who you know.  Money influences people everywhere into corruption especially when they think they can get away with it. However, everything hidden will be revealed.

                  Avatar
                  Irvington, N.J.
                  United States
                  Member #2683
                  November 3, 2003
                  31 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 25, 2004, 10:25 am - IP Logged

                  Signing your ticket doesnt always protect the owner, especially when the thief has political connections and can influence employees of the lottery.  Money influences people everywhere into corruption, especially when they think they can get away with it.  I had signed my ticket, however, when I went to inspect it, although it was obvious that the ticket had been wet, my signature had been removed and replaced with that of Melvin Milligan, who by the way is a deceased person  Ive since learned that there is a chemical that can remove the signature.  SO those people just needed the right help and be dealing with NY or NJ lottery.  Just ask Al Oliver