Did you know that a man in Florida recently won $2,500 a week for the rest of his life? It’s amazing how a single scratch-off ticket can rock someone’s world and change it forever. However, not every lottery story has an easy fairy tale ending. Are you wondering what the unfortunate lottery tales are? Keep reading to learn all about stolen lottery ticket stories and how to avoid making the same mistakes those people did.

A Close Call

You may be surprised to hear that stealing lottery tickets is a lot more common than you think. The first story you’ll hear is about a close call involving an elderly British woman named Maureen Holt. She went to check if her ticket was a winner at a Best One store even though she had bought it elsewhere.

The shopkeeper put her lottery ticket in the machine and saw that it was a huge winner. Rather than tell that to Holt, he lied and told her the ticket was a loser. The shopkeeper could have gotten away with stealing her ticket but when he called to claim the prize, he didn’t know that the ticket had been bought elsewhere.

The fact that he didn’t know this, or the day when the ticket was purchased, made him sound quite suspicious. Afterward, the lottery providers started an investigation. Not only did they find out where the ticket was bought, but they were able to trace the winning lottery ticket back to its rightful owner.

Holt was able to retire with her million-pound prize while the criminal was sent to jail before being deported due to an expired green card.

Two things changed after these events occurred. In order to increase security, the lotto providers added a winning sound into the machine that would prevent shopkeepers from lying. They also gave customers the option of asking shopkeepers to print the winning numbers so that customers can check their tickets themselves.

Betrayed by a Roommate

A California man bought a scratch-off lottery ticket for 30 bucks. He was giddy to find out that the ticket was worth $10,000, or so he thought. In his excitement, he made the mistake of telling his two roommates about the win.

When he went to cash the ticket the following day, he was told that there was something wrong with it. At this point, the man became suspicious about his roommates. With that in mind, he decided to get the police involved.

It turns out that one of his roommates had already cashed the lotto ticket without his knowledge and replaced the man’s original ticket with a different scratch-off. Once the roommate’s deception was revealed, he was arrested and charged with grand theft.

The good news is that the man’s ticket was worth a lot more than he initially thought. Instead of $10,000, he had won a whopping $10 million. It’s amazing the kind of difference a few extra zeroes can make.

The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t tell anyone about your winning ticket until after you’ve cashed it. Even then, you should only tell your closest loved ones about your winnings. Aside from trying to steal your money, others might try to beg you for a handout.

Becoming a millionaire can be a huge responsibility. Are you wondering what other things you can do to protect yourself and your winnings?

Ways to Keep Your Ticket Safe

One of the best ways to avoid lottery ticket theft is by signing the back of your ticket as soon as you see that it’s a winner. Be sure to use a pen or permanent marker. That way, the thief won’t be able to take an eraser to it and replace your name with theirs.

If you want to be as safe as possible, then it’s best to sign your lotto tickets right after you buy them. This will give you peace of mind if you end up losing the tickets before scratching them off. The last thing you’d want is for someone to find the ticket and realize it’s a jackpot that you paid for.

When so much money hangs in the balance, it’s always best to check your own tickets during the scratching or drawing process. Even a good friend could be tempted to claim that your jackpot-winning ticket is a dud. The next thing you’ll know, they’ve ghosted you and are living it up in a foreign country on your dime.

Checking Your Ticket at a Retailer

Another way you could put yourself at risk is by asking a vendor to tell you if a ticket is a winner or not. Rather, it’s much safer to ask them to show you by writing down yes or no, for instance. Using this method, there’s no chance of someone else in the store overhearing and then targeting you as an easy score.

For some lottery tickets, there’s a terminal that a retailer can use to scan your ticket. You should pay attention to the subtle winning sound that the terminal makes. Either that, or you can see what the monitor on the terminal says.

Ready to Heed Stolen Lottery Ticket Stories?

Now that you’ve learned all about stolen lottery ticket stories and how to avoid making the same mistakes, you can make sure you cash your winnings and join the ranks of the newly rich. With a single jackpot, you can quit your job and do whatever you think is your true calling in life.

Scratch Smarter can provide you with all the lottery analytics you could ever need. That way, you can make informed decisions when buying lotto tickets and have a much better chance of getting as many jackpots as possible. Our dedicated experts can update you from week to week on a variety of lotteries across 40 states.

Are you on the fence about it? If so, feel free to check out these winning lotto cards from happy players who scratched smarter.