Did you know that the biggest lottery jackpot dates back to 2016 and was worth a whopping $1.568 billion? Many Americans dream of winning the ticket, but sometimes dreams can come with nightmares. Some people end up becoming winners only to have their tickets stolen by others. These stories can serve as warnings to be cautious whenever you buy lottery tickets.
Are you wondering what some of the best stories are? Keep reading to learn all about 5 people who stole lottery tickets.
1. A Shady Employee
When it comes to stolen lottery tickets, you have to hand it to the guy who went so far as to dress up as a lotto employee in North Carolina. In his cosplaying outfit, he was able to simply pick the machine up and walk out the door with no questions asked. He managed to bag $1,000 worth of scratch-offs.
Not only did he go through the trouble of creating a bogus outfit, but he also forged an ‘official’ North Carolina lottery identification card.
An actual employee of the gas station claimed to have never seen anything as elaborate as this man’s scheme. However, it didn’t pan out. Suspicion grew and grew in the employee’s mind until he followed up with lottery officials, which is how he found out it was a theater-level fraud.
Even if the thief has winning numbers, it won’t matter. The lottery company is able to cancel all tickets that come from specific boxes so that even if he tries to cash a winning ticket, he’ll get nothing in return. Plus, the whole thing was caught on camera so it’s only a matter of time before he’s taken into custody for his crimes.
2. A Family Betrayal
It’s an unfortunate fact that lottery ticket thieves are a dime a dozen. They can even be family members. The mistake was made when a woman from Texas asked her cousin to cash the winning lotto ticket.
The reason for this is that the winner wanted to remain anonymous. The ticket with the winning lottery numbers was actually bought in New York. Although the woman promised a whopping $50,000 to the cousin for the simple task of cashing the ticket, that wasn’t enough for this greedy family member.
Instead of giving the full amount, the cousin claimed that the ticket was worth $20,000 rather than a cool $1 million. While the cousin didn’t put as much effort into this crime as the man from North Carolina, she did forge some paperwork that said the prize was only $20,000.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Texan woman was sent a little under $13,436. The cousin lied and said the rest went to taxes, which would make her story sound more realistic while beefing up her pockets with even more cash.
She might have gotten away with it had the lottery company not released a press release. In this press release, it was stated that the cousin had cashed out her winnings in the amount of $537,440 after taxes were accounted for.
3. Risking It All for Nothing
Even people abroad want to win the lottery. One of the most recent lottery ticket scams involves the country of Poland. A man entered a store in Ilawa and asked the clerk for alcohol.
While the clerk was distracted, the man acted as quick as lightning and grabbed a box of lottery tickets before darting out the door. The scratch-offs were worth around 2,500 zlotys, which converts to almost $700.
However, this man wasn’t a successful criminal by any stretch of the imagination. Not only did the 591 scratch-offs come up empty, but he was also arrested by the police.
If he gets convicted for his crime, he could end up in jail for a total of 5 years. A high price to pay for no pay-off at all.
4. All for Nothing Yet Again
Sometimes people have the worst luck no matter how hard they try to turn the tables of fortune in their favor. In fact, a similar situation to the one in Poland happened in Scotland of all places.
An employee at a Co-op supermarket was drowning in debt. Like anyone who’s drowning, he was desperate to get out of his situation. In this case, it was a fat stack of scratch-off cards that caught his eye.
Although the cards were worth over $2,100, not a single one was a winner. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he was caught and was sentenced in a court of law to pay the sum of the scratch-offs to his employer.
He was also ordered to serve 200 hours of community service within the next 9 months. The good news for him is that since he pleaded guilty and showed remorse for his actions, he avoided serving a full 300 hours.
5. Too Many Hands in the Cookie Jar
Some people aren’t very creative with how they go about stealing their lottery tickets.
A gas station in Tennesse had a series of crimes that are almost certainly connected. The security camera shows two men who walk into a store and then run out after grabbing towers that contain lottery tickets.
After about 60 seconds, a third man shows up and steals yet another tower of tickets.
In fact, the store has seen this crime occur a total of three times in the past two weeks. While no one was apprehended, it’s easy enough for the lotto company to cancel those batches of tickets.
Ready to Keep Your Winning Lottery Tickets?
Now that you’ve learned all about 5 people who stole lottery tickets, you can be super careful next time you play the lotto. You never know what ticket is the jackpot winner, so it’s best to treat each one as though it were a piece of gold.
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