Lost Lucky Lottery Winner Ruins All The Fun, Turns Out To Be An Undercover Agent

lotteryguyThere was a feeling in the Internet air yesterday, one of solidarity, of coming together as a species in the face of a daunting mystery, and now that’s all over. There’s good news and “Aww, man, really?” news about the guy who’d won $75,000 in the lottery but only walked away with $75: He’s been found! The other news: He’s an undercover California lottery agent. The other, other news: Such a job exists.

Yesterday evening after the good denizens of the Internet no doubt started scouring the Earth for this fellow, ABC 7 News reported that the agent was sent to the gas station with a dummy winning ticket to check on the store to see if it was in compliance with lottery rules and regulations.

The cashier who handled the ticket trade-in misread the machine, and called his manager as soon as he realized the mistake. That was after the agent had taken his money and left.

Though officials say most businesses are honest, undercover agents exist to make sure stores aren’t behaving badly and trying to cheat customers. The gas station manager says she hopes her store passes the test, as her employee alerted her to the situation right away.

But the deputy director of the California Lottery told ABC he isn’t sure that the store followed all the rules, because the cashier didn’t hand the customer/agent a validation slip along with the money from the winning ticket. That would’ve confirmed the $75,000 payout, not $75.

“We have a lot more questions than answers. A lot of red flags have been raised and we are looking into whether this was an honest mistake or not,” Lopez said.

The group’s verdict won’t be reached until their investigation is complete in the next few weeks.


Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.