Man Who Thought He’d Won $500K Told His Lucky Ticket Is A Worthless Misprint

Although I’ve never won a large sum of money myself, I imagine that the experience of hitting it big with the scratch-off lottery would go something like this: Blink, blink, rub eyes, blink, rub eyes, blink, scream and call my mom. So picturing that scenario followed by the ultimate letdown of no money is maybe the saddest thing ever. Stupid lottery ticket misprints.

A New Mexico man thought the scratch-off ticket he bought for $20 meant he was $500,000 richer, reports, after his scratching appeared to reveal four prices, two worth $250,000.

Alas, he’s been told by authorities with the state lottery that his tickets are worthless, after first running back in to the cashier with his ticket.

“She scanned it in the machine and told me it isn’t a winner,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Apparently the ticket had two crucial misprints above those $250,000 jackpots. His winning numbers of 1 and 2, which appeared elsewhere on the ticket, showed up above the prize, which should indicate a winner. But while he had 1 above both $250K amounts, an abbreviation code for the single-digit numbers didn’t match. That code indicates that one of those numbers above the $250K was really a 12 and the other was 18. Each number had only a tiny smudge for the second digit.

The state lottery offered him $100 worth of free tickets when he called, he says, but told him in an email that he wouldn’t be seeing that $500,000.

“We did find a flaw in that particular pack of tickets and it’s been reported to our printer,” an official reportedly wrote. “Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I did complete a reconstruction of your ticket and it was not a winner.”

A spokeswoman for the New Mexico Lottery says she feels bad for the man, calling the error a “malfunction” and not a misprint. She says the problem happened after an ink dispenser used by the company that prints the tickets became clogged. All the defective tickets were removed — except, apparently, one.

“Absolutely, we feel for him. Printing presses, I don’t care if it is the New York Times’ printing press, a press that prints bumper stickers or whatever else, they are mechanical and parts will become disabled, bent, out of alignment, jammed or otherwise disabled,” she added. “If it had been a winning ticket, we would have gladly paid.”

Lottery letdown: NM man told ‘winning’ ticket rendered worthless by misprint []

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