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An Ethical Dilemma...

Topic closed. 43 replies. Last post 9 years ago by DC81.

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Please read the original post before voting.

Take the entire $9 in tickets [ 38 ]  [76.00%]
Take only the $5 in tickets that you put in [ 3 ]  [6.00%]
Contact a store employee [ 4 ]  [8.00%]
Other (Please explain) [ 5 ]  [10.00%]
Total Valid Votes [ 50 ]  
Discarded Votes [ 3 ]  
CaliWinner's avatar - aeonflux
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Posted: March 26, 2008, 3:44 pm - IP Logged

This is something I faced over the weekend, and I'm curious to see how some of you would have handled it.

So say you walk up to the automated lottery ticket purchase machine at your nearby grocery store (if you don't have such machines where you live, pretend you do). It's a machine where you can buy Mega Millions tickets, Super Lotto tickets (the state lotto here in CA), etc. You stick your $5 in, with the intention of buying five quick picks for the next Mega Millions drawing. But what's this? The machine tells you that you have $9 in credits.

You realize what happened. The person before you also put $5 in, but got confused by the machine, and purchased only one ticket, instead of five (it IS a confusing, multi-step process, so it's totally understandable). 

What do you do?

- take the entire $9 in tickets

- take only the $5 in tickets that you put in

- contact a store employee and explain the situation to them

- other (explain what you would do) 

I'll tell you what I did later, but I'm curious as to what others would do. Be honest! 

Not a winner yet. But I will be!


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    Posted: March 26, 2008, 3:52 pm - IP Logged

    If there was a way to contact the person who left the extra credits in, then I'd say something to the manager, but I highly doubt that person is traceable.

    It's like finding a 5 dollar bill on the ground. Are you gonna pick it up and yell out loud...who dropped this money?

      ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
      Idaho
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      Posted: March 26, 2008, 3:54 pm - IP Logged

      I agree with Pac. If there is no way to trace it, who would I contact or give it too? I would probably just buy more tickets. 

      "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
        Wandering Aimlessly
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        Posted: March 26, 2008, 4:07 pm - IP Logged

        I checked "other" because it all depends on the store.  If it's a local store where you are familiar with the clerks, I'd just tell them because that player might return.  Maybe I'd take the tickets & leave my name & number.  However, I do agree with Pac & Scary that there's probably no way to trace them.  If I got an extra $20 from an ATM and my receipt said $20 instead of $40 I would return the money as long as my bank statement didn't reflect the deduction.  But this is different, since who is to say that those tickets aren't the ones you're supposed to get?


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          Posted: March 26, 2008, 4:13 pm - IP Logged

          I agree with Pac. If there is no way to trace it, who would I contact or give it too? I would probably just buy more tickets. 

          I'd just buy more tickets and keep my mouth shut.

          I was in a bar once and looked down at the floor and saw a twenty dollar bill folded in half.I put my foot on it and asked the guy next to me if he lost any money.He said that he had not.I asked him again and told him to check his wallet,to be sure he hadn't lost any money.He checked his wallet and assured me that he had all of his money.So I bent down and picked the money up.Turns out that it was 2 twentys folded in half.All of sudden this guy next to me decided that,yeah,he did lose the forty dollars and I better cough it up or else.The "or else" turned out to be me kickiing his a$$ when he took a punch at me.

          Since then,whenever I find money,I keep my mouth shut. 

            spy153's avatar - maren

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            Posted: March 26, 2008, 4:25 pm - IP Logged

            We don't have those machines here, but I ran into something like that when I bought my mega millions tickets on tuesday.  Someone had bought 5 tickets for the Virginia cash 5 and left them on the counter.  I gave them back to the clerk and told them the person might be back for their ticket once they realized they had left it behind.  If they had been mine and I left them, I would want to know I could come back to the store and claim them.

            voir-vous dans mes reves!Cool

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              Posted: March 26, 2008, 4:25 pm - IP Logged

              The ethical thing in any analagous situation is to see if you can find the rightful owner. Assuming you can't get a cash refund from the machine and can't readily locate the person who deserves the credit the sensible thing is to get  an extra $4 worth of tickets. Leaving the credit almost certainly means that somebody else will use it, and there's no logic in doing that.

              The person who left the credit behind only has a claim on the $4, since they never actually bought  the tickets, so your only obligation would be to return their $4, or $4 worth of tickets. OTOH, you know the tickets don't really belong to you, so you should decide ahead of time which are yours and which aren't. You don't know what tickets they would have chosen, but Karma wil award you the most points for keeping the last tickets selected. If a ticket that isn't yours wins you should donate the proceeds to a charity, picking something the person who left the credit is unlikely to disapprove of (nothing to the IRA or a religious (or anti-religious) cause, for instance).

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                Posted: March 26, 2008, 5:08 pm - IP Logged

                Well if I don't take it then the store clerk is going to. So, I would take the extra $4.

                  four4me's avatar - gate1
                  MD
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                  Posted: March 26, 2008, 5:20 pm - IP Logged

                  Here's the same analogy only a slightly different place. You walk into a restroom you see a twenty dollar bill on the floor there is no one in the restroom except you do you pocket the money or walk outside the restroom and yell who dropped a twenty in the bathroom.

                  If theres fifty people in the room that here you yell, I'm willing to bet 20 or more will say it's mine.


                   

                  Keep the tickets and be on your way.

                  Big John says. You don't hit the number. The number hits you!!!!

                                 I'm not Big John, I'm Four4me, Big John's a friend.
                    hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

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                    Posted: March 26, 2008, 5:34 pm - IP Logged

                    Evil Smile take the freebies and run like heck

                      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                      Zeta Reticuli Star System
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                      Posted: March 26, 2008, 5:57 pm - IP Logged

                      If the person that had the credits in the machine was still there I'd tell them.

                      I'd like to say I'd tell the clerks, but what's to say they wouldn't take $4 worth of tickets for themself?

                      __________________________ 

                      This happened at one of the Fremont Street cainos in downtown Vegas and as far as I know it never was settled:

                      When the poker and slot machines started going to credits instead pf paying tokens into the till with every win a lot of people would walk off, not knowing they still had money coming to them. They didn't know to hit the "cash out" or "pay" buton and figured they had just played a very tight machine.

                      Well, some local people decided to just go to the casino in the wee hours of the morning (one of their mistakes, it's very slow then and the casino people watch things a lot closer), go up and down the rows of the slot and pker machines, and hit all the cash out buttons. One person even joked about it paying better than a part time job.

                      On one particulalry slow night they were observed doing this by surveillance, and security was called and asked them what they were doing. Well, it was pretty obvious, so the casino was going to accuse them of "defrauding an innkeeper" (Nevada law that covers anyhting not covered)  they countered with, "Who is stealing from who- you intentionally watch people walk away thinking they are losers when they've actually won." 

                      If I remember right it got settled out of court, or both sides simply agreed to drop any lawsuits as the casino didn't want that kind of publicity.

                      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                      Lep

                      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                        JAP69's avatar - alas
                        South Carolina
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                        Posted: March 26, 2008, 6:12 pm - IP Logged

                        If I seen the actual person using the machine before me leave and have credits left I would bring it to their attention.

                        Otherwise its mine to use.

                          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
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                          Posted: March 26, 2008, 6:15 pm - IP Logged

                          We don't have those machines here, but I ran into something like that when I bought my mega millions tickets on tuesday.  Someone had bought 5 tickets for the Virginia cash 5 and left them on the counter.  I gave them back to the clerk and told them the person might be back for their ticket once they realized they had left it behind.  If they had been mine and I left them, I would want to know I could come back to the store and claim them.

                          In your situation, I think that was the best choice, but isn't seeing credits in a machine different?  When the tickets print, you don't know what he/she would have gotten, so if you had gotten $9 tickets, which ones would you give to the clerks? 

                          We don't have self-service machines either, so I'm not sure how they work.

                            CaliWinner's avatar - aeonflux
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                            Posted: March 26, 2008, 6:37 pm - IP Logged

                            Well, now that some people have posted, I'll go ahead and say what I did: I went ahead and took all 9 of the tickets.

                            To address some issues that have come up during discussion:

                            - the person who had put the money in was not standing nearby. If there was anyone nearby, I would have asked them about it, but no one was. 

                            - I personally chose not to contact a store employee because I know from past experience that they have no control over the machine. It's overseen by an outside vendor. So in all likelihood, they would either a) say "so?", or b) just take the tickets themself. They have no way to get into the machine and get money out in case the person came back.

                            - I debated internally whether or not to leave the $4, in case the person came back, but all I could see happening was the next person to use the machine would get 4 free tickets instead of me.

                            All I could think of, though, for the next couple of days was what would happen if I won the Mega Millions jackpot on one of the first four rows on the ticket (i.e. on the other person's money). I would have felt guilty about that money for the rest of my life. So...I'm actually kind of glad I didn't win on Tuesday.

                            Not a winner yet. But I will be!


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                              Posted: March 26, 2008, 6:47 pm - IP Logged

                              Well, now that some people have posted, I'll go ahead and say what I did: I went ahead and took all 9 of the tickets.

                              To address some issues that have come up during discussion:

                              - the person who had put the money in was not standing nearby. If there was anyone nearby, I would have asked them about it, but no one was. 

                              - I personally chose not to contact a store employee because I know from past experience that they have no control over the machine. It's overseen by an outside vendor. So in all likelihood, they would either a) say "so?", or b) just take the tickets themself. They have no way to get into the machine and get money out in case the person came back.

                              - I debated internally whether or not to leave the $4, in case the person came back, but all I could see happening was the next person to use the machine would get 4 free tickets instead of me.

                              All I could think of, though, for the next couple of days was what would happen if I won the Mega Millions jackpot on one of the first four rows on the ticket (i.e. on the other person's money). I would have felt guilty about that money for the rest of my life. So...I'm actually kind of glad I didn't win on Tuesday.

                              I would have felt guilty about that money for the rest of my life. So...I'm actually kind of glad I didn't win on Tuesday.

                              Don't feel guilty because of other people who weren't paying attention to detail. Secondly, even if the person wasn't careless and used all of the credits, he or she might have not gotten the same combos at that very moment when he or she was buying them. (the winning combos).

                              People are wreckless all the time.

                              There was a sign here at a deli I saw years ago which was priceless. I am paraphrasing because I don't remember verbatim, but it went something like this.

                              "Your inabilty to choose does not constitute an emergency on my part."