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Disputed Massachusetts lottery ticket is found

Feb 16, 2004, 6:03 am

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Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Disputed Massachusetts lottery ticket is found

Police have found a missing $20,000 Massachusetts lottery ticket that a college student said was snatched out of her hand by the clerk at the Westborough store where she bought it.

"The Lottery Commission has verified it through the numbers," police Sergeant Russell Johnson said.

Lottery officials have to visually inspect the scratch-off ticket before Erika Schmitt, 18, can claim her prize.

"We have notified her, and obviously she is excited," Johnson said.

There might be some delay before the money is in Schmitt's pocket, because the ticket is evidence in the case against the Quik Mart store clerk charged with stealing it.

Antoine Y. Reiche, 34, of Westborough, was arraigned earlier this month on a charge of larceny over $250 after police said he snatched the ticket from Schmitt and told her it was worth only $100. He pleaded not guilty and was freed on $1,000 bail.

Schmitt, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has to file an appeal with the Lottery Commission to claim the ticket, but might have to wait until Reiche's court case concludes before she can have it, police said.

Schmitt said she went to the store and bought a $2 Lucky Star ticket. She scratched it in the store and uncovered 10 stars, for the game's $20,000 grand prize.

But when she told the clerk, he allegedly grabbed the ticket and told her it showed only six stars, which is a $100 prize. He refused to show her the ticket when she demanded to see it, so she went to police.

When police asked Reiche for the ticket, he said he threw it away. Police did not say how they recovered the ticket or where it was found.

The Lottery Commission suspended the store's lottery sales license.

AP

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7 comments. Last comment 17 years ago by LottoBuddy.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar
Wisconsin
United States
Member #1610
June 3, 2003
668 Posts
Offline

Sounds like this case wil

... the lottery never fails to surprise!
    fja's avatar - gnome1
    100

    United States
    Member #91
    January 19, 2002
    15438 Posts
    Offline

    It will be interesting to see where they found the ticket, or if it just appeared in the mail in their offices.

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

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #972
      December 30, 2002
      468 Posts
      Offline

      $20,000 sure would have come in handy when I went to UMass when I was her age, and was constantly broke. She can reduce those awful student loans, or she can party and vacation...which will it be?

      Note to corrupt store owners/thieves...if you are going to steal a ticket, don't do it on the grand prize.

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #434
        June 30, 2002
        675 Posts
        Offline

        Should be a lesson to people.

        Although most store clerks would be happy for your win, if you ever win anything higher than the $500 the store can pay, get your ticket cashed at lottery headquarters! (or a regional lottery office if your state has those)

          Avatar
          Wisconsin
          United States
          Member #1610
          June 3, 2003
          668 Posts
          Offline

          i agree, and even with slightly smaller prizes...since i've been playing the lottery i've had two tickets hit $100 or more and both times i've taken them to a large grocery store that has a customer service counter. i avoid quick-stop type convenience stores when cashing in my tickets. since they also sell lottery tickets at that grocery store they are more than happy to cash in the winners no matter where they were purchased. keeping the ticket separate from smaller prizes and telling them when you arrive that you have a $100 or larger ticket to cash in lets them know that you have already checked the ticket. i just feel better at a larger location at a store i can trust dealing with people i trust for prizes of $100 to $599.

          ... the lottery never fails to surprise!
            dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

            United States
            Member #2338
            September 17, 2003
            2063 Posts
            Offline

            i think handing any winning ticket more than $100 to a clerk is a mistake unless you are going to buy more than 100 tickets for the next drawing. i would never validate a ticket i thought hit a jackpot or first tier prize by handing it to a clerk

              LottoBuddy's avatar - tails

              Canada
              Member #3722
              February 15, 2004
              46 Posts
              Offline

              The solution is to sign your name and contact information at the back of any ticket before handing it over to anybody.  With all the dishonest lottery retailers around, they should be prohibited from playing and claiming winnings.