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Store owner to appeal jury's lottery decision

Mar 26, 2004, 8:54 am

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Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Store owner to appeal jury's lottery decision

A store owner plans to appeal a jury's decision that he pay $1.3 million to a lottery winner who said the owner failed to warn him about a jackpot cap.

John Struna regularly bought multiple tickets with the same numbers for the Buckeye 5 game at Convenient Food Mart in Cleveland. In October 2001, he chose the winning combination, which he had played on 52 tickets.

The game's prize is $100,000, so Struna thought that amount would be multiplied by 52 for each of his winning tickets, giving him $5.2 million.

But the Ohio Lottery limits the winnings from any single Buckeye 5 game to $1 million.

Struna sued store owner Harry Singh, claiming he did not make the cap clear. The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas jury ruled Wednesday against Singh.

The store owner did what he was supposed to do by giving Struna a copy of lottery rules, said Singh's lawyer, Gary Seewald.

Struna carried the rules in his pocket but did not read them, Seewald said.

The jury's award could put his client out of business, Seewald said.

"It could literally destroy him," he said.

Struna believes neither Singh nor the lottery made the rules clear, said his attorney, Andrew Kabat.

Struna also sued the Ohio Lottery for false advertising, but the Ohio Court of Claims threw out that lawsuit. It is being appealed.

Kabat said Thursday that he hopes the civil judgment inspires the state lottery to be more aggressive about informing players of the rules.

"That has been a request of ours continually," Kabat said. "We have always wanted them to do something to alert players of this cap and they have done nothing to date."

Ohio Lottery spokeswoman Mardele Cohen said the lottery has no plans to change the way it informs players of the rules.

She said the rules are clearly posted on signs given to lottery retailers and on the lottery's Web site. Also, retailers are required to attend training conducted by the state that teaches them about the cap and other rules, she said.

Retailers are not specifically told to explain the rules to players.

"In theory that should be something they should be doing," Cohen said.

Some people buy up to 10 tickets with the same combination trying to win the $1 million maximum prize, she said. "But when we saw that someone bought 52 tickets, it didn't make any sense to us."

Another person had a winning ticket for the drawing Struna won, so he received $981,000 for his tickets.

Messages seeking comment were left Thursday at a telephone listing under Struna's name. There was no home listing for Singh, and a person who answered the phone at the store said it was the wrong number.

AP

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9 comments. Last comment 16 years ago by twisted.
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siloviki's avatar - hiro dolphin_neg.jpg
New Member

United States
Member #4138
March 24, 2004
6 Posts
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Posted: March 26, 2004, 12:18 pm - IP Logged

I agree that retailers are only there to sell tickets and not act as lottery spokespersons or legal couselors. However, in some instances I can see where a relationship can develop between a store owner and his/her customers. Struna's high rolling playing would certainly give him and Singh more to talk about than just the weather. Read the fifth paragraph of the following link to see where listening to a retailer actually paid off big (without any legal disputes) for one Pennsylvanian player:

http://www.casinoworkz.com/gambling-news/2000/3/22/a-15830.php

    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
    50
    mid-Ohio
    United States
    Member #9
    March 24, 2001
    20272 Posts
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    Posted: March 26, 2004, 4:02 pm - IP Logged

    I seriously don't understand how this case every went to court.  Ohio recently changed the Buckeye5 cards to five boards per card from ten boards per card and on the back of the older cards which John Struna had to used to buy his tickets were printed in big red letters the following:

         JACKPOT PAYOUT CAP
     OF $1MILLION FOR A MATCH 5
              (for example)
      10 Winners:$100,000 Each
       (1million Divided by 10)
      11 Winners:$90,909 Each
      ...................................
      13 Winners:$76,923 Each
       (1million Divided by 13)

    It was removed from the newer cards but I'm sure someone is thinking about putting it back now. I can't believe that Singh's lawyer didn't make the jury aware of that fact and they came out with that verdict.

    RJOh

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

    Thumbs Up       

      JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

      United States
      Member #4121
      March 23, 2004
      817 Posts
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      Posted: March 26, 2004, 4:25 pm - IP Logged

      I got to agree that store owner was wrong by not telling the buyer about the 1,000,000 cap. The customer has the right to sue and win. I am glad he won the case and the lottery. I can't believe anyone would invest $120,000 a year to play lottery. I think this guy needs help. Where is his wife in all this. My wife would have killed me.

        twisted's avatar - underground
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #2376
        September 25, 2003
        582 Posts
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        Posted: March 26, 2004, 6:28 pm - IP Logged
        Quote: Originally posted by JackpotWanna on March 26, 2004


        I got to agree that store owner was wrong by not telling the buyer about the 1,000,000 cap. The customer has the right to sue and win. I am glad he won the case and the lottery. I can't believe anyone would invest $120,000 a year to play lottery. I think this guy needs help. Where is his wife in all this. My wife would have killed me.



        Are you kidding me?  I cant believe what kind of people live in this world.  Suing for little little things for their own benefits never thinking what the other person is gonna go through.  Mr. Singh must have had a crapy lawyer.  It is someones sole responsibility to know the rules of a game in which he spends $120,000 a year.  If I'm going to sell tickets in my store, it is none of my business what the customer does and what he buys.  Unless ofcourse he asks me about the rules of the game where I would clearly explain it to him.  The jury clearly were prejudice in this case.  This case sould be thrown out once they appeal.  Hopefully Mr. Singh is smart enough to fire his stupid lawyer before he appeals. 

        I feel ashamed to be part of such a society.  GOD SAVE US ALL.

          jeffrey's avatar - moon
          Hamilton, OH
          United States
          Member #4162
          March 27, 2004
          277 Posts
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          Posted: March 27, 2004, 3:41 am - IP Logged

          Litigation is not a lottery but advice to buy 52 tickets at a time to win 5.2 million when the cap is 1 million is fraud if I remember correctly. They are both idots and deserve the appropriate punishments. He only wins what he wins and the seller is charged with criminal fraud. Let the punishment fit the crime.  Who needs passion and posts that ignore the facts.

            twisted's avatar - underground
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #2376
            September 25, 2003
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            Posted: March 27, 2004, 9:16 am - IP Logged
            Quote: Originally posted by jeffrey on March 27, 2004


            Litigation is not a lottery but advice to buy 52 tickets at a time to win 5.2 million when the cap is 1 million is fraud if I remember correctly. They are both idots and deserve the appropriate punishments. He only wins what he wins and the seller is charged with criminal fraud. Let the punishment fit the crime.  Who needs passion and posts that ignore the facts.


            So you know the facts about the case?  Please make them clear to us.  From what I read, the customer is suing the store owner because he forgot to make the rules "clear" to him.  He never said the store owner lied to him.  Ohio lottery trains these owners about the rules but never tells them to explain the rules to every customer.  Its not their responsibility.  Lottery is just a side income for these owners.
              jeffrey's avatar - moon
              Hamilton, OH
              United States
              Member #4162
              March 27, 2004
              277 Posts
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              Posted: March 27, 2004, 1:34 pm - IP Logged

              Reread the original thread. Anybody can sue another for anything. It's up to the judicial system to decide the merits of the case and not the public opinion or the media. The rules are clearly stated and it is up to the purchaser of the tickets to make the final decision. Anybody who forgets this can be duped.

              The store clerk suggested buying many tickets to win a big fortune when he shouldn't have said anything. This generated profits for his store. He profited. Money was exchanged. It doesn't matter how much, fraudulent information was exchanged for money. Common con. I think the court agreed.

              People need to remember this when playing the lottery. It's a game, not a profession.

              Fun thread, any more?

                jeffrey's avatar - moon
                Hamilton, OH
                United States
                Member #4162
                March 27, 2004
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                Posted: March 27, 2004, 2:25 pm - IP Logged

                Quote: Original posting

                Struna blamed Singh for "encouraging him to purchase so many tickets", and for never telling him that the game was capped at $1 million. Had he known, Struna would argue later, he would have purchased fewer tickets each night

                Singh "encouraged" and this presents liability.

                I agree with most posts that America is litigous and quick to blame and this case had few merits but the owner encouraged him to buy many tickets to win more money. There was no more money to win.

                It's like the case of McDonald's fraudulent games that encourage people to eat there but there are no prizes to be won. This case and the resulting class action lawsuit resulted in a rather hefty settlement. Nearly, the same thing.

                Another is the clerk at the store who sold phone cards that didn't work and wouldn't give a refund. She was arrested and charged with theft even though she was just an agent of the store.

                It isn't exactly right or just but these cases are true.

                It's very difficult to sue the government but there have been other misleading lottery games. They usually change /or mention the caps after litigation. Rules are rules but more people listen to the advertising than "read the fine print" .

                Good luck everyone.

                  twisted's avatar - underground
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #2376
                  September 25, 2003
                  582 Posts
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                  Posted: March 27, 2004, 8:16 pm - IP Logged
                  Quote: Originally posted by jeffrey on March 27, 2004



                  Quote: Original posting

                  Struna blamed Singh for "encouraging him to purchase so many tickets", and for never telling him that the game was capped at $1 million. Had he known, Struna would argue later, he would have purchased fewer tickets each night

                  Singh "encouraged" and this presents liability.

                  I agree with most posts that America is litigous and quick to blame and this case had few merits but the owner encouraged him to buy many tickets to win more money. There was no more money to win.

                  It's like the case of McDonald's fraudulent games that encourage people to eat there but there are no prizes to be won. This case and the resulting class action lawsuit resulted in a rather hefty settlement. Nearly, the same thing.

                  Another is the clerk at the store who sold phone cards that didn't work and wouldn't give a refund. She was arrested and charged with theft even though she was just an agent of the store.

                  It isn't exactly right or just but these cases are true.

                  It's very difficult to sue the government but there have been other misleading lottery games. They usually change /or mention the caps after litigation. Rules are rules but more people listen to the advertising than "read the fine print" .

                  Good luck everyone.




                  How do you know when the store owner "encouraged" him to buy more tickets he didnt mean more tickets with different #'s.  I dont know if he did this or not, but it is common sense when someone tells you to buy more tickets, they mean play more #'s, not the same damn combination 52 times.