According to lottery experts, winners of significant prizes should try their best to stay quiet about their newly discovered wealth for as long as possible. One Californian man learned this fact the hard way after he purchased a winning ticket and told his two roommates the good news right away. When the California resident attempted to collect his winnings the next day at the California State Lottery Office, he was told that his ticket was fake.
Baffled and distraught, he returned home. The unidentified winner explained to news outlets that he knew his ticket wasn’t fake because he purchased it on December 20th from a legitimate Lucky Supermarket in the area. The scratch-off ticket costs him $30, and he had won what he initially believed was $10,000.
Initially, the man accepted that he wouldn’t be collecting thousands of dollars in lottery prizes, but things changed a few days later. The man’s 35-year-old roommate, Adul Saosongyang, reportedly attempted to visit the California State Lottery Office to collect the winnings on his roommate’s winning ticket. Because the prize was so large, protocol dictates that an investigation is opened to confirm the winner prior to handing out the money. Investigators looking into the situation first checked the video footage of the lottery ticket’s purchase. They immediately knew they had a problem when the person coming to collect did not match the person on film. The lottery ticket investigators promptly reached out to the police.
It was determined that Adul stole his roommate’s winning ticket and replaced it with a fake one while he was sleeping. It was also revealed that the original winner’s ticket was not worth $10,000 as initially believed. The ticket was worth an incredible $10 million.
As a result, Adul was arrested by police and charged with grand theft. Lottery experts are reminding the public to keep quiet about winnings at first, and always sign the back of your ticket to help ensure you receive your winnings. These steps can help prevent a similar situation from playing out in the future.