Shop Clerk Steals $14 Million US Lotto Ticket from Pensioner

The last thing you would want to have happen if you were lucky enough to win a lottery jackpot is to have a dishonest retail store clerk trick you and steal your winning lottery ticket!

Here is the story of an individual who nearly lost his prize, and tips how you could avoid this ever happening to you.

shop clerk steals lotto ticket

A major case of lottery theft came to light in New York where a pensioner’s winning New York lottery ticket was snatched away from under his nose by a thieving grocery store employee. Retired New York transit worker Milledge McCassell won a huge $14 million jackpot in the New York Lotto, but if he hadn’t been vigilant, he would have ended up with nothing at all.

Be Careful if You Check Your Lotto Numbers in a Store

check your lotto numbers in a store

After a lottery draw Mr McCassell would have been wise to check his lottery numbers online, but instead he went to check his ticket in the Dynasty Deli and Grocery Store in Queens. McCassell first checked the ticket using an in-store scanning device. When he got a message saying he was a Big Winner, McCassell proceeded to the cashier. McCassell quotes the cashier telling him that it was “no big deal”, but when he then demanded that his ticket be returned to him, the clerk blatantly told him he’d already tossed it. Suspecting that there was something fishy going on, McCassell went to another retailer the next day. The owner of the Ideal Stop, Dairy and Grill in Laurelton, Hussein Mesed, turned out to be more trustworthy and he immediately rang the New York Lotto on McCassell’s behalf to file a complaint.

Lottery Jackpot Claim Leads to Investigation by State Police

lottery jackpot claims

Soon after receiving the alarming call, the lottery board ordered a thorough investigation into the matter. As New York Lottery Director Gordon Medenica stated to the media, it soon became apparent that ”someone had had a $14 million motive to try to scam Mr. McCassell out of his jackpot prize.” Upon being confronted by New York State Police investigators, the Dynasty Deli employee who had served McCassell – the person with the “$14 million motive” – gave up the missing ticket immediately. Mr McCassell was then able to claim the prize which was rightfully his to begin with. He opted to receive a lump-sum payment of $8.7 million. The Dynasty Deli lost its license and the authorities in New York are conducting a full-scale investigation to determine if any charges will be filed.

How to Avoid Theft of Lottery Tickets

avoid theft of lottery tickets

Mr McCassell had to find out the hard way: you’d better safeguard your lottery prizes. The best way to do this is by purchasing your lottery tickets through trusted online retailers who scan the tickets to a secure account, only accessible by you, and store the originals inside a vault. The McCassell case is one of many. According to reports, some 10% of scratch cards prizes are claimed by retailers, and winning tickets for big lotteries are often stolen by shop clerks as well, so be forewarned and don’t let some dodgy liquor store cashier claim your lottery jackpot.

Regardless of whether you play La Primitiva through a reputable online ticketing service or opt to buy your tickets in a shop – we wish you lots of luck!