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Lottery ticket number crucial to trial

Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Lottery ticket number crucial to trial

When did Julie Prive learn the number of a lottery ticket worth $4 million?

The outcome of a civil case pitting Prive, 27, who worked at the Tedeschi's in East Falmouth when the $10 scratch ticket was sold, against two other Falmouth residents could hinge on the answer to that question.

Prive is being sued by Raymond MacDonald, 65, and Monica Hertz, 62, who both claim ownership of the $600 Million Spectacular ticket.

MacDonald and Hertz both say they bought the ticket May 17, 2002, but did not realize it was a winner after scratching it. One of them gave it to Prive so she could enter it herself in a secondary lottery drawing.

Taking the stand in Barnstable Superior Court again yesterday, Prive admitted telling MacDonald and Hertz the $4 million winning ticket was number 94, when it was actually 93.

Prive made the admission during questioning by attorney Leigh Ann Patterson, who represents MacDonald and Hertz.

The $600 Million Spectacular tickets were numbered and sold from a "book," according to Prive's testimony.

After it was announced May 21 that the winning ticket was sold at Tedeschi's, MacDonald and Hertz spoke to Prive. That's when she told them the winning ticket was number 94.Patterson confronted Prive, all but accusing her of lying to cheat MacDonald or Hertz.

Did she not provide a false number to keep them "from piecing together the evidence?" Patterson asked.

"No, that's not true," Prive said.

When testifying earlier in the week, MacDonald said he likes to purchase high-numbered tickets and thus was keeping track of the numbers on the tickets he bought that day. But MacDonald could not say exactly how many tickets he purchased that day.

Under questioning by her attorney, Prive said she gave the wrong ticket number to MacDonald and Hertz because she scrutinized the ticket "only briefly" before she initialed it, took it back to the store and put it in the store safe. Her husband cashed in the ticket four days later on May 21.

"Everyone makes mistakes," Prive said.

Earlier testimony disputed

During her testimony yesterday, Prive disputed MacDonald's earlier testimony about how she came into possession of the winning ticket.
MacDonald and Hertz say they gave Prive their discarded tickets, one of which turned out to be the winner. Together the couple purchased 45 tickets that day.

MacDonald, who is retired, is an avid lottery player who said he spends up to $100 a day on tickets. He won a $2 million jackpot on a scratch ticket in 1997 and testified that he typically keeps his losing tickets for tax purposes and would not normally have given the tickets to the clerk. He said Hertz gave her ticket to Prive so he followed her lead.

But yesterday Prive testified that she received discarded tickets from MacDonald, not Hertz, and collected other tickets thrown in the trash on May 17, 2002.

The tickets were to be returned to the lottery commission as part of its anti-litter Clean Fun Sweepstakes program, Prive said. Under the program, which no longer exists, a person could be entered into a drawing for $100,000 each time they turned in $10 worth of non-winning scratch tickets.

Small prizes won

Prive, who made a habit of collecting tossed-away scratch tickets, testified that she had won small prizes from discarded tickets in the past.
MacDonald testified earlier that he did not expect Prive to share the money had she won the Clean Fun Sweepstakes, but did expect her to return a winning $4 million ticket.The winning ticket pays $200,000 a year before taxes for 20 years. So far, Prive and her husband, David, have collected $600,000 before taxes.

Lottery commission officials said they will continue to pay the couple until told to do otherwise by the court

In a deposition prior to the trial, Prive said she sold lottery tickets to MacDonald at about 2 p.m. But lottery records show the winning ticket must have been sold after 4 p.m., Patterson said, adding that MacDonald and Hertz bought tickets at the store between 4 and 5 p.m. Prive admitted her earlier testimony about what time MacDonald and Hertz bought the tickets was in error.

MacDonald claims he bought tickets 99 to 88 from a new book. When a clerk opens a new book of tickets they are required to notify the lottery commission. But MacDonald testified that he bought tickets from two different books that day.

Patterson also challenged conflicting accounts Prive gave the media about whether she had won big in the lottery. She denied winning to a radio reporter, and she told the Cape Cod Times that she purchased the ticket after she got off work. She later told lottery officials that she found the ticket.

"I didn't want 100 people coming to my door," Prive said defending her actions. She said she was worried about lawsuits and possible risks to her family.

Hertz still hospitalized

Hertz remains in Falmouth Hospital, where she was admitted Sunday for treatment of blood clots.
Judge John Connor Jr. allowed Hertz's March 5 deposition to be read as testimony yesterday in her absence.

Hertz said that when she filed an affidavit in July 2002, she did not mention Prive citing an inaccurate ticket number.

State lottery commission lawyer William Egan testified yesterday that neither MacDonald nor Hertz filed a complaint alleging lost winnings.

The Lottery requires a winning ticket to be signed before it can be redeemed, Egan said.

Based on that, David Prive "would be the appropriate claimant," Egan said, because he signed the winning ticket.

Egan also said MacDonald and Hertz are suing the lottery commission for allowing the Prives to collect on the disputed prize.

Connor has imposed a gag order in the case, forbidding those involved in the trial from talking with reporters. The trial is due to resume today.

Cape Cod Times

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15 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by ONEDAY.
Page 1 of 2

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
11296 Posts
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Posted: August 13, 2004, 9:45 am - IP Logged

MacDonald and Hertz are both in their 60s. This is an annuity-only prize.

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    United States
    Member #972
    December 30, 2002
    465 Posts
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    Posted: August 13, 2004, 10:56 am - IP Logged

    "One of them gave it to Prive so she could enter it herself in a secondary lottery drawing."

    Well, that's a little different from picking up a ticket from a pile of losers abandoned in the trash or lottery table.  She knew who her winning ticket came from.  That doesn't mean she shouldn't take advantage of a fortune that was mistakenly dropped on her lap, which doesn't happen very often and is after all the American way, but were she a more ethical person she could have offered to split the money with them. I would let Prive keep what she's received so far and split the remaining payments 50/50.


      United States
      Member #3676
      February 10, 2004
      425 Posts
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      Posted: August 13, 2004, 11:07 am - IP Logged

      Seriously they threw it out they lose, she signed it , bottom line.  I agree though with his fact that you should buy high numbered tickets in the stack because the lottery doesn want all the big prizes claimed right away as then they would not be able to dump the rest of the tickets since most people wouldnt buy them once they realized the big winners were gone.

        four4me's avatar - gate1
        MD
        United States
        Member #1701
        June 18, 2003
        8358 Posts
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        Posted: August 13, 2004, 11:31 am - IP Logged
        Yep I agree if they bought scratch off tickets and gave them away then by all rights they belong to the person who received them. If they hadn't of gave them to her they might have been tossed in the trash never to be claimed. many winning scratch off tickets end up in the trash because people don't know they have a winning ticket or neglected to check it completely. If Raymond MacDonald, and Monica Hertz, gave the ticket away that's their fault and they should be angry at themselves not the woman who received the ticket. On the other hand the judge might want to know why she made no attempt to contact Macdonald and Hertz after finding the winning ticket in the pile of tossed tickets. I hope the judge rules for Prive to keep the winnings after ll it wasn't her fault they thru out a winning ticket.

        Reminder always check your tickets closely before tossing them out.
          DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
          Yinzer Country, PA
          United States
          Member #4067
          March 18, 2004
          2741 Posts
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          Posted: August 13, 2004, 12:56 pm - IP Logged
          Quote: Originally posted by four4me on August 13, 2004



          Yep I agree if they bought scratch off tickets and gave them away then by all rights they belong to the person who received them. If they hadn't of gave them to her they might have been tossed in the trash never to be claimed. many winning scratch off tickets end up in the trash because people don't know they have a winning ticket or neglected to check it completely. If Raymond MacDonald, and Monica Hertz, gave the ticket away that's their fault and they should be angry at themselves not the woman who received the ticket. On the other hand the judge might want to know why she made no attempt to contact Macdonald and Hertz after finding the winning ticket in the pile of tossed tickets. I hope the judge rules for Prive to keep the winnings after ll it wasn't her fault they thru out a winning ticket.

          Reminder always check your tickets closely before tossing them out.



          exactly.  which part of the words "bearer instrument" do the old people have trouble understanding?

          I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

            Avatar
            New Member

            United States
            Member #3687
            February 12, 2004
            10 Posts
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            Posted: August 13, 2004, 1:23 pm - IP Logged

            Yup, there's a big difference between being 'morally correct' and 'legally correct'.

            They gave her the tickets, and she recieved them..... which means that she now has ownership of them.  The 'moral' thing to do would be to either offer to split it with them, or to give it back, but legally Prive has ownership of the tickets and can do what she wants with it.

            Things like this should be a nice reminder for people to check their tickets, and sign them.

              BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
              Dump Water Florida
              United States
              Member #380
              June 5, 2002
              3102 Posts
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              Posted: August 13, 2004, 3:02 pm - IP Logged

              In Florida people buy scratch off tickets and have the clerk scan them for winners without scratching any boxes.  It's not like a bell rings if you have a winner, the clerk can easily say a winner was a loser. 

              I think the case hinges on whether Julie Prive told them it was a loser, if she did it was fraud as seller/checker she had responsibility to verify the ticket, if she didn't and just asked for losers it became hers when they handed it over.  BobP

                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                mid-Ohio
                United States
                Member #9
                March 24, 2001
                19813 Posts
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                Posted: August 13, 2004, 3:37 pm - IP Logged

                I seen people in Ohio also buy scratch off tickets and have the friendly clerk scan them for winners rather than taking the time to check them themselves.  It part of a clerk's job to be friendly, but not a friend who can be trusted to check your tickets.  Clerks are making $5-$10 per hour and they are not going to care if someone who drops $20 in 10 seconds for some lottery tickets lose some money.

                RJOh

                 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                   
                             Evil Looking       

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #972
                  December 30, 2002
                  465 Posts
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                  Posted: August 13, 2004, 3:38 pm - IP Logged

                  The mystery here is how two seasoned experienced scratch ticket buyers thought the ticket was a loser.  I'm sure it had some matching number(s) and different words under the matching number(s) to indicate "jackpot".  Such different words might have caused the average person to look at it even longer than the average ticket, puzzling over what it all meant.  Why, they had previously won a jackpot from another scratch ticket in 1997, so they can't even claim they had never seen a jackpot winning ticket before. Hmmm.  I suppose they can claim senility.

                  I am now determined to go through tickets in the trash looking for my own jackpot winner. If I find one, this case has made me determined to 1)Not tell anyone that I found, rather than bought, the ticket and 2)To wait a couple of months before cashing it in so that memories can get a little fuzzy, and so I can see if there are any "Man loses winning lottery ticket" stories in the paper.

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                    EASTPOINTE
                    United States
                    Member #3985
                    March 10, 2004
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                    Posted: August 13, 2004, 4:25 pm - IP Logged

                    as the sole bearer of a lottery instant scratch ticket.It is my responsibly to check the ticket thourghly.If Idiscard or give so said ticket away,all I can say is farewell.It's called choice!,And you must live with your choices.Good or bad.If these people can spend 100 DOLLARS a day on lottery tickets(36,500 dollars a year.more than alot of people I know make!) alongside wanting to sue everybody.I SAY SCREW EM!!!!

                      mo money's avatar - batman38
                      nassau
                      Bahamas
                      Member #6069
                      August 4, 2004
                      221 Posts
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                      Posted: August 13, 2004, 6:20 pm - IP Logged

                       the moral and ethical thing for the store clerk to do is split the money equally. Personally i feel she is a crook.

                        Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                        Clarksville
                        United States
                        Member #487
                        July 15, 2002
                        17638 Posts
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                        Posted: August 13, 2004, 9:03 pm - IP Logged

                        I feel she is right to keep the money.  If they threw the tickets away..oh well, that is like taking your pay check, cashing it and just throwing it in the street. A ticket is a bearer instrument. I have found lots of scrachers in the trash worth from $40.00 on down so I feel as if she doesn't owe them a thing.  Other people's trash is other people's treasure.

                        If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                        You never know when you will get another hit.

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                          tn
                          United States
                          Member #2964
                          December 7, 2003
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                          Posted: August 14, 2004, 2:18 am - IP Logged

                          from what i have read,it sounds like they cheated the couple. i would agree with you all about them giving it to her,but she has been caught in alot of lies.reread the story again,and look at it unbiased,it seems like fraud to me. they are an older couple,maybe they cant read  or see as good as they used too,and asked her to check it and she told them it was a looser,of course they would believe her.and they turned it in 4 days later and cashed it,seems very fishy to me,anyone else agree with me. keep cashing the ones you find in the trash,but this different.


                            United States
                            Member #379
                            June 5, 2002
                            11296 Posts
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                            Posted: August 14, 2004, 10:44 am - IP Logged

                            Mass asks for trouble every time it comes out with an annuity-only scratch game.