Tags: lottery | winner | inspector

'Winner' Lottery Inspector Given Only $75 of $75,000 Prize

By    |   Tuesday, 05 May 2015 05:27 PM

A California gas station that paid out $75 instead of $75,000 to an undercover state lottery inspector on a winning ticket is under investigation by state authorities.

The inspector turned in the ticket in March at a Chevron station in Palmdale and was given just $75 for the top winning ticket on the Wild West Poker Scratchers ticket; lottery officials were waiting to see if someone claimed the $75,000 ticket before approaching the gas station, KTLA reported.

The Chevron gas station manager, Shamsun Islam, told KTLA that the clerk made a mistake and realized it almost immediately, but they didn’t know how to identify the man who had turned the ticket in. Islam told the station she called California State Lottery offices to determine what to do to get the remainder of the $75,000 to the man who turned it in.

When officials didn’t call back, the manager took an in-store surveillance video of the winner to several news outlets in an attempt to locate the man; it ended up running on news stations around the country.

That story was going viral when the lottery announced that the man was an undercover inspector, and that lottery officials would determine whether the $75 payout was an honest mistake on the part of the gas station.

“Since the store held onto the ticket, it appears the ticket was mishandled,” lottery spokesperson Russell Lopez told KTLA. “We are currently investigating this case.”

Islam told KTLA that the clerk “feels so bad” about the mistake. She told the Los Angeles Times, "I know my guy, he's a really, really honest person. He would never do anything wrong," she told The Los Angeles Times. "He made a mistake. He realized after the guy left."

The Times reported that lottery officials weren’t expecting the store to release the surveillance video, which effectively blew the cover of the organization’s undercover agent, “making what was initially a routine, confidential investigation into lottery fraud very, very public.”

“This is an odd situation,” Lopez told the Times. “We don’t want the public looking for a winner that doesn’t exist.”

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A California gas station that paid out $75 instead of $75,000 to an undercover state lottery inspector on a winning ticket is under investigation by state authorities.
lottery, winner, inspector
351
2015-27-05
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 05:27 PM
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