Man who is paid only $75 for winning $75,000 lottery ticket turns out to be undercover inspector

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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.

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  • Mark Bolt

    But wait,the guy left with the funds that are part of that businesses funds related to lottery commerce,do they get the funds back for the mistake that says they messed up,by not telling the person that it isn’t redeemable at the store… The whole combined operation of not informing,then not responding,then not recovering the ticket,become a liability to the lottery operators,that cooperate with any form of investigative operations that stick the retailer with the ticket that is not valid for redemption,nor represent6ative of a recovery amount related to what was paid out for the ticket… Think about it…

    • Danielle Sprague

      I can see what Mark is saying. It could be a honest mistake on the clerks part. Because at the time of the redemption anything over a certain amount is not redeemable in the station. If the clerk realized the winnings were over he would have directed the winner to take the ticket to the state lottery office to redeem the ticket for $75,000.00. but in this case he thought the ticket was for $75.00 which he could pay out.

  • aicram

    All this time, I thought the lottery was honest. Now, I see it’s rigged. How do you manifest a $75,000 ticket, to use as bait in the first place? So, they can just print up tickets at the office? Wow! That’s the real question to be asked.

    • Justin Thyme

      Yes, either print a new one for the sting or use an old one that’s already been turned in and re-activate it and tag it as investigation use. Duh! It doesn’t mean it’s rigged.