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finders keeper, losers weepers, we lost a $5,000,000 instant winner

Topic closed. 40 replies. Last post 10 years ago by Rick G.

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colonia, nj
United States
Member #46088
September 3, 2006
48 Posts
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Posted: September 3, 2006, 5:04 pm - IP Logged

We had a winner in our hands, we thought. Wanted to take it to the store to check it.  Purchased a NJL Instant $5.00 game nbr 540, Lifetime Riches $5,000 weekly for life, guaranteed $5,000,000 payout lifetime.  We had never played that game before, only $3.00  Win for Life.  Mostly played $2.00 games with constant small winnings. 

Sis is left side paralyzed and almost blind in her left eye.  Four years like this after a giant aneurysm burst in her brain during a clipping.  I even had a mild TIA the same time she was getting readied for her surgery.  Anyway, instant tickets are therapy for her.  She handed me the Lifetime ticket that revealed one large colorful LIFE with $5,000 a week for life underneath.  It looked like a wild number.  She asked didn't we need three.  Uncertain I said we should take the card down to the store. I couldn' read the small print and I needed to get her back to bed. so I laid the ticket down.

 We had $2.00 game winners and losers on her bedside table.  It was late and I had to get her Percocet and  and nightly medications and get her ready for bed.  She was in so much pain.  Well, you guessed it.  The ticket may have gone, unknowingly, into the wastebasket in a small opaque bag with her tissues, and then into the top of the trash at the curb for garbage night, still in that separate little bag.

You know the rest.  Found.  I did forget about the tickets.  I'm up 24x7 and am my sister's left side.  We have help 10 hrs a week from the County.  We have exhausted a home equity loan for past private care.  I am now 65; Marilyn is only 58.  When I finally realized Ii had not checked the ticket, it was too late.  Could not find it.  Only thought was the wastebasket.  When one does constant caregiving, times run together and keeping a painfree day is paramount 

I looked on the NJL website I actually found pictures of the instant games.  There were 3 remaining prizes still left by August 13.  Aug 14, it went to 2.  I had to take a magnifying glass to look at fine print.  I had no glasses on when I had the live ticket in my hands, and sis and I both have cataracts. I even tried to find out where the local dump was, but weekends are messages only.

I was certain we did have a winner.  I went into the local pharmacy August 12 or 13.  The counter gal said they had a big winner recently come in and he didn't want anyone to know.  I aked which game and she would not give me any detail, who, what instant game, etc.  I got suspicious and found out they don't even sell that game there.  Usually when you have a winner, for luck, you take the ticket back to the store as they get a cut, and post the validation in front of the computer.  Lucky store, and people want to buy their tickets there.

I called NJ Lottery Monday and they directed me to Security.  Validation said, there was a winninig ticket sold in Middlesex County the time frame I indicated, a validation at the pharmacy, but no one claimed the ticket at the Lottery yet.  OK.  I asked for an audit at the ticket issuing company.  I knew the position of the remaining tickets on the roll. I knew the number in the upper left corner of the ticket.  What the symbol looked like etc.  I did not have the ticket in hand,  NOR WAS IT SIGNED.

The audit proved everything I said matched.  But, in the middle of my rquest for aqn investigation, someone actually got the ticket to the Lottery.  That was Aug 18.  The lottery called the validating store.  They vouched for the person.  He would never take someone's ticket.

I had a lawyer I knew call the Lottery Commission.  Yes, there was a winner.  He lived in Colonia not too far from me.  They wouldn't tell the name, he wanted privacy.  And then they said it was validated elsewhere.  Aug 20, 2006.  I received a letter from NJL Security closing out my file.  They quoted Karafa v. NJ State Lottery, 129, NJ Super. 499, 502-03 (Ch. Div 199),  can't be responsible for my lost ticket unsigned and ticket must be presented for payment.    Why did they put me through a week's false hope?????????

They refused me the documentation that would have shown or disproven our claim.

The good part is I went to a local convenience store Aug 20, pm and purchased a second LifeTime Riches tkt.  The word LIFE appeared below the numbers several time in the same font.  Losers.  The owner said they had a recent winner in the area but someone didn't want anyone to know who it was and it was not put into the computer. Something was wrong with the ticket.

I relayed my story and she said so I was the winner.  Someone said the ticket had been lost and found.  I had asked Security for the name of the winner.  They refused and said they couldn't put it in the winners' circle. Now,it is going to be announced as a winner this week, weeks after the game was taken out of the computer as a winner.  I was told maybe I did have a winning tiket but not from the place I said and this ticket was from July 2006.  Well, Public Records said the second winner was from Essex County in Juy 2006, and the first was in 2005.  I said I had the third winner for a short time.  NJL also said the updates in the computer are  not up to date.  A lotto agent said they are updated every Monday Midnight and distributed to the agents on Tuesdays.  Some serious lotto instant game players won't play a card if the big bucks are gone.

I called the County, a few people seemed to know what was going on as there was word someone had found something.  It is the policy if it were a county empoyee to turn in anything of value and to see if anyone claims it first.  Then no one  knew anything.  Sis and I even by word of mouth and to the Lottery Comm.  offered to split the ticket if we had a rightful claim.  That's a $2.500,000 tip.  The things movies are made of.  No, the finder wanted it all, now it is two winners saying they will split  as two claimants, but not us.

I filed a Title 59 potential Tort against a Public Entity, but have no lawyer as I have only my word and my sister's word.  I can't get supporting documents.  I even tried to get the tape of the store to prove I was there at a certain period.  No call backs from store security.  It sounds like a wild story, doesn't it!

Then  a third party was on the lookout for my certified letter to the State.  I sent it by messenger service and the messenger advised me someone wanted to see what I was sending to the State, but said once the envelope were sealed it would take a court order to open it. Truth!!!!

My sister has spiking blood pressure. This has taken its toll, and she is on anxiety pills. There is no way we would go through a senario like this if we didn't have that ticket in hand.  I am exhausted from trying to prove this. I don't have the time to take out of Sis' routine, but WE HAD THAT TICKET.

I have a good idea  I know who found this ticket.  They may newer faster cars.  Sis could have gotten a new wheelchair  and a car that would allow more of a handicap advantage than I drive. While they could join a better gym or a new country club, SIs could have had better physical therapy and a new leg  brace and arm brace and we could have had better handicap living facilities and functioned easier in a handicap environment.

Those finders left her stranded.  Is there anyone out there who can help us quickly? 

Marilyn said she would rather be known in life as a good person who helped those when she could,instead of a lottery winner.  No one knows what the disabled world is like, until that peson has been there.  I can't take back time, but I could have helped her forward in an easier disabled world. 

 

Thanks,

Lorraine and Marilyn

    starchild_45's avatar - spherewall2
    kent, washington
    United States
    Member #3509
    January 26, 2004
    465 Posts
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    Posted: September 3, 2006, 5:56 pm - IP Logged

    well if this is true i hope you get your ticket. good luck with your search.

      lottaloot's avatar - AvatarZ56
      Redford/MI
      United States
      Member #3396
      January 18, 2004
      4867 Posts
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      Posted: September 3, 2006, 6:33 pm - IP Logged

      I am sorry about your loss of the winning ticket...

      It is a sad, hard reality to have known that you won but because of a mishap someone else has profited from it instead. 

      But keep your head up cuz I am sure that you will be blessed again soon.  Blue Angel

      L ttaL   T

        Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
        FEMA Region V Camp #21
        United States
        Member #520
        July 27, 2002
        5699 Posts
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        Posted: September 3, 2006, 6:51 pm - IP Logged

        So you joined Lottery Post today just to tell us all about it?  Thanks for sharing your story with all of us.  It was a good one.

        PS...I notice your story appears in your first blog too.  Congrats on getting the hang of the site so quickly.  You got double coverage for the price of one story.

        Did you want us to send you money today or tomorrow during the Telethon? 

        Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).


          konane's avatar - wallace
          Atlanta, GA
          United States
          Member #1265
          March 13, 2003
          3333 Posts
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          Posted: September 3, 2006, 7:04 pm - IP Logged

          So you joined Lottery Post today just to tell us all about it?  Thanks for sharing your story with all of us.  It was a good one.

          PS...I notice your story appears in your first blog too.  Congrats on getting the hang of the site so quickly.  You got double coverage for the price of one story.

          Did you want us to send you money today or tomorrow during the Telethon? 

          I Agree! 

          We've had similar news stories posted here with super advice about how to handle a ticket before having it checked by a clerk. 

          Wish you could have read that advice before encountering the misfortune you're writing about.

          My take on things is that if it's really important you're very careful handling it.

          Good luck to everyone!

            emilyg's avatar - cat anm.gif

            United States
            Member #14
            November 9, 2001
            31343 Posts
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            Posted: September 3, 2006, 7:16 pm - IP Logged

            I Agree! 

            We've had similar news stories posted here with super advice about how to handle a ticket before having it checked by a clerk. 

            Wish you could have read that advice before encountering the misfortune you're writing about.

            My take on things is that if it's really important you're very careful handling it.

                          I Agree!

            love to nibble those micey feet.

             

                                         

              Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
              FEMA Region V Camp #21
              United States
              Member #520
              July 27, 2002
              5699 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 3, 2006, 7:19 pm - IP Logged

              This story has more holes in it than a homeless man's underwear.  I take offense that you have the gall to treat us like a bunch of imbeciles.  You took the time to remember the ticket was # 540, but couldn't take the time to put it in a safe place?

              What a bunch of crap.  You wasted your time typing this nonsense and our tiime reading it.  Say hello to "Sis" when she gets back from her shopping trip at the mall.  Give her a call on the cell phone and remind her to put some gas in the Humvee on her way back...oh yeah, and tell her to pick up some black angus filets too so you guys can have a nice cookout on the gas grill.  Pinot Noir might be a good idea too...just to celebrate the wool-covering act.

              You go, Bonny and Clyde...you all are just too damned smart for us. 

              Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).


                tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

                United States
                Member #5344
                June 30, 2004
                23641 Posts
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                Posted: September 3, 2006, 7:25 pm - IP Logged

                Sorry you lost the ticket.

                However, usuallly what is found is found in trash is considered unwanted.  I happy that it wasn't a total loss completely. At least the lottery had to front the money for someone.

                     OLD/Vtrac   Lottery Bible         Double Warnings      Thumbs Up TN F34/F44

                  konane's avatar - wallace
                  Atlanta, GA
                  United States
                  Member #1265
                  March 13, 2003
                  3333 Posts
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                  Posted: September 3, 2006, 7:31 pm - IP Logged

                  Way too many similarities between the St.John and Donovan saga (believe those names are correct) in this story for me to buy it.  Perhaps I don't have a heart, but I also don't have sucker on my forehead either.

                  Good luck to everyone!

                    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                    mid-Ohio
                    United States
                    Member #9
                    March 24, 2001
                    19819 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: September 3, 2006, 7:43 pm - IP Logged

                    lorramil writes:
                    I had a lawyer I knew call the Lottery Commission.  Yes, there was a winner.  He lived in Colonia not too far from me.  They wouldn't tell the name, he wanted privacy.  And then they said it was validated elsewhere.  Aug 20, 2006.  I received a letter from NJL Security closing out my file.  They quoted Karafa v. NJ State Lottery, 129, NJ Super. 499, 502-03 (Ch. Div 199),  can't be responsible for my lost ticket unsigned and ticket must be presented for payment.    Why did they put me through a week's false hope?????????

                    They refused me the documentation that would have shown or disproven our claim.

                    Lorraine,
                    You got it backward, Lottery Commissions don't give documentation to people to prove they didn't win, people give documentation to Lottery Commissions to prove they won. 

                    When a ticket goes unclaimed, lots of people will claim they bought it, misplaced it and with the right documentation can concoct a believable story about being its real owner, that's the reason such information isn't available to the general public. 

                    If you don't think lottery tickets have enough value to put them in a safe place until you've had a chance to check them then you shouldn't buy them.  Better luck next time.

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

                      Avatar
                      Mid-Atlantic
                      United States
                      Member #22203
                      September 20, 2005
                      35 Posts
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                      Posted: September 3, 2006, 7:51 pm - IP Logged

                      Way too much information for me.  Sorry for your loss.  If you can post so fluently online you should be able to keep track of an instant ticket.  Better luck next time.......

                        MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

                        Norway
                        Member #9517
                        December 10, 2004
                        1272 Posts
                        Online
                        Posted: September 3, 2006, 7:57 pm - IP Logged

                        When winning something like that the first thing people should think about is securing the ticket in something like a bank safe deposit box.

                          fja's avatar - gnome1

                          United States
                          Member #91
                          January 19, 2002
                          11927 Posts
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                          Posted: September 3, 2006, 10:15 pm - IP Logged

                          sorry you lost your ticket,,,,I feel bad for you you guys, so If you just send me your address I will forward you my jackpot winnings letter that I got from the UK,,,,,all you have to do is call them with the number that they put on the letter and then your on your way to more than 5,000 a week for life......I dont need the fast cars and big house........Good luck to your sister and to you!

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

                            TheTruth's avatar - Lottery-063.jpg
                            Detroit, MI
                            United States
                            Member #43946
                            July 27, 2006
                            365 Posts
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                            Posted: September 3, 2006, 10:25 pm - IP Logged

                            Oh wow that really blows. Honestly, you can't blame the person who took the ticket and claimed it, it's not like he/she made you throw it away. It was very bad careless mistake I'm sure you will never make again, lesson learned now move on and hope for even bigger winnings.

                            "The happiest moment of your life will be the moment it ends...thats because it doesn't end but goes on in ways so magnificent, so full of peace - wisdom - and joy, as to make it difficult to describe  and impossible for you to comprehend"

                            God

                              four4me's avatar - gate1
                              MD
                              United States
                              Member #1701
                              June 18, 2003
                              8360 Posts
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                              Posted: September 4, 2006, 11:58 am - IP Logged

                              ya know it really bangs me up when we get stories like this. I scratched a lottery ticket for 9 grand once. I quickly turned around to see if anyone noticed it was a winner besides me i shoved the ticket in my shirt pocket and took off out the door. I drove home took few extra turns to make sure no one was following me. When i got home i hid the ticket. The next day i went to work asked the boss for a few hours off he said why i told him about the ticket he said i could have the time off if i would show him the wining ticket. No problem i said here it is. he said go on get outta here and go cash it in.

                              What im getting at here is i guarded that ticket even though it was only 9,000 dollars. I guarded it like it was the only money i had ever had. And i cashed it as soon as i was able.

                              I don't care what frame of mind your in you don't misplace or throw away a winning lottery ticket. Especially if your dirt poor.