PALMDALE, Calif. -- A California gas station is being investigated after a lottery ticket worth $75,000 was paid out for just $75, and the "winner" was actually an undercover state inspector.
According to KTLA, the gas station reached out to the media on Sunday in an effort to identify the winner and get him his rightful earnings.
But a California Lottery spokesperson says the man in the video is really an undercover investigator who was making an inspection stop.
Surveillance video shows a man in a brown shirt and a cap standing by as the clerk appears to validate the ticket and hand over the cash.
“Since the store held onto the ticket, it appears the ticket was mishandled,” spokesperson Russell Lopez told KTLA. “We are currently investigating this case.”
The manager of the Chevron station, Shamsun Islam, claimed the clerk realized the mistake after the "winner" left the store.
The clerk reportedly called her manager who called another superior who advised them to call state lottery officials. Shamsun said lottery officials said someone would come by to pick up the ticket.
However, the Los Angeles Times reports that officials have been trying to determine if authorities were ever notified about the ticket, and if fraud was committed.
Officials had been waiting to see if anyone would try to file a claim on the $75,000 -- until the gas station went public with the surveillance video, according to the Times.
Lottery players should always sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchasing.