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Settlement reached in Mass. scratch ticket dispute

Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Settlement reached in Mass. scratch ticket dispute

After two years of squabbling over the ownership of a $4 million winning scratch ticket, the litigants embroiled in a lawsuit agreed to a settlement in an effort to avoid another civil trial.

Julie Prive, a former clerk at an East Falmouth Tedeschi's convenience store, was sued by two customers, Raymond MacDonald and Monica Hertz, after she cashed in the scratch ticket in 2002.

MacDonald, 65, and Hertz each claim they bought and scratched the winning ticket at the store, then gave it to Prive believing it to be a losing ticket she could enter in the lottery's second-chance sweepstakes.

An exhaustive eight-day trial ended in a hung jury in August, and the parties contemplated taking the matter to court for the second time.

In the first move to "get the wheels moving" on the settlement, a Barnstable Superior Court judge agreed yesterday to release $50,000 put in an escrow account after Prive sold the Falmouth home she bought with her winnings last year.

MacDonald and Hertz, both of Falmouth, had put a lien on Prive's property in case they won a favorable jury verdict. The plaintiffs will receive $25,000; Prive and her husband, David, will get the other half. Prive has already collected $600,000 from the state.

The plaintiff's attorney, Tammy Arcuri, acknowledged to Judge Richard F. Connon that a settlement had been reached but refused to discuss details. "This begins the settlement process," she said. "But the rest is confidential."

When asked if he were pleased with the settlement, MacDonald, the only litigant in court yesterday, refused comment. MacDonald, who acknowledged he spent $100 a day on the lottery, won a $2 million jackpot from a scratch ticket in 1997.

Prive, 28, who moved her family out of Falmouth because of what she said was harassment about the case, said she is legally prohibited from discussing the settlement.

"I will say that I'm comfortable with it," she said at her home yesterday. "But I would've gone all the way and fought it until the end. I think I could've pushed it more and more."

The outspoken defendant listed a myriad of reasons why she decided to avoid another trial, including the financial burdens of another legal row.

"This has been emotionally draining on my family," she said. "It's been two years and we thought it best to let it go. It's time to stop this."

Prive had regularly collected discarded tickets and entered them in what was at the time a second-chance game designed to prdvent litter. She said she found the winner while double-checking the used tickets.

MacDonald and Hertz contend the winning ticket - No. 93 in a book of $10 tickets - was among the 45 tickets they bought that day.

Prive said she is expecting her third child in May and wants to spend more time with her family instead of in court. She said she is also assisting an ailing family member.

Prive said she plans to move her family out of Massachusetts after her baby is born.

"Nobody helped me with anything here," she said, adding that she sent letters to local officials and the secretary of state. "I don't want to put another dime into a place that has shut me out."

When asked whether she intends to play the lottery again, Prive was resolute. "I haven't bought one since that ticket and I don't intend to start," she said. She said she'll never scratch another ticket unless lottery laws are revamped.

"According to the law now, if you've ever received a lottery ticket for a birthday," she said, "the person who gave it to you is entitled to the winnings. The law is unclear and unfair."

During the trial, Prive took copious notes in order to write a book about her ordeal. She said there's no clause in the settlement that prdvents her from publishing her story.

"In fact, the settlement makes me want to do it more," she said coyly. "All I need is an author now."

Cape Cod Times

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8 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by DoctorEw220.
Page 1 of 1
four4me's avatar - gate1
MD
United States
Member #1701
June 18, 2003
8359 Posts
Offline
Posted: October 8, 2004, 11:00 am - IP Logged

Weird ending to this story sounds like in Mass if you didn't actually purchase the ticket it doesn't belong to you. And because they didn't discuss the details of the settlement sounds like Prive might have came up short on the deal.

    Avatar

    United States
    Member #972
    December 30, 2002
    465 Posts
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    Posted: October 8, 2004, 11:20 am - IP Logged

    I just don't have much sympathy for the greedy harrassment of MacDonald and Hertz.  So they've now prevailed, badgered money in defiance of the "bearer instrument" rules of the lottery and their lost court case. Where was that determination and doggedness when (if?) they had the winning ticket in their hand?

    On the other hand, Prive has taught a valuable lesson to anyone who finds a winner in the future: Keep your big mouth shut and wait several months so memories can fade before before cashing it in.

      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
      mid-Ohio
      United States
      Member #9
      March 24, 2001
      19816 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: October 8, 2004, 6:43 pm - IP Logged

      The Prives learned a lesson that many lottery winners learn.  Many losers, many of which the winners have never met, think they did not deserve to win and if one of them can find a way to get a winner in court, they have a good chance of convincing a jury to think the same way regardless of lottery rules about the winner being the person signing and turning in the winning ticket.  That may be one of the reasons, some people prefer to make their claims anonymously when ever possible.

      RJOh

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

        DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
        Yinzer Country, PA
        United States
        Member #4067
        March 18, 2004
        2741 Posts
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        Posted: October 8, 2004, 6:52 pm - IP Logged

        if i were the lady, i wouldn't have agreed to the settlement. she deserved the whole winnings from the ticket. finders keepers, losers weepers. nuf said.

        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.

          DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
          Yinzer Country, PA
          United States
          Member #4067
          March 18, 2004
          2741 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: October 8, 2004, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

          she is also going to need the money more than the old farts.

          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.

            jeffrey's avatar - moon
            Hamilton, OH
            United States
            Member #4162
            March 27, 2004
            277 Posts
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            Posted: October 8, 2004, 11:08 pm - IP Logged

            We live in a litigeous society. Let this be a lesson to all readers: Protect yourself or someone will do you. Good luck.

              Avatar
              Pa
              United States
              Member #2485
              October 9, 2003
              319 Posts
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              Posted: October 9, 2004, 6:25 am - IP Logged

               If you do not know how to see a winner then I would not play. I worked with the lottery and people just throw away winning scratch off all the time. Pa has what you win now that you can see. Lets face it the state and laws you will never win over them.

                DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                Yinzer Country, PA
                United States
                Member #4067
                March 18, 2004
                2741 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: October 11, 2004, 1:32 am - IP Logged

                no, but you could keep appealing the case until they award in your favor to shut you up.

                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.