There are occasions when two is better than one, but not in the case of winning the jackpot.
Ardella Newmann, from Washington D.C. could be facing a prison sentence for altering a scratch- off ticket and claiming the $20,000 prize.
On August 22nd, Ardella claimed she purchased the $2 scratch-ticket, matched the correct numbers and therefore should be entitled to her $20,000 prize money.
“When I saw that $20,000, you don’t know how excited I was.”
However, Virginia Lottery officials told her there had been a mistake and the ticket was issued in error.
She immediately filed a complaint with the Virginia Lottery. Lottery officials released their findings from the investigation and they concluded that the Ardella’s ticket was in fact two tickets taped together.
Furthermore, this is not the first time that Ardella has tried to cash in a winning ticket. In a prior case, two tickets were once again taped together and she tried to claim a $52 win.
Ardella is adamant that she has done nothing wrong and has continued to fight for her winnings:
“I want the money that I thought I won. If you look at the ticket, it says I won this money. It wasn’t anything that I did wrong. It’s what they did wrong,” she said.
The lottery organization’s Audit and Security Department concluded:
- The tickets presented by Ms. Newman were valid tickets that were torn, apparently when they were dispensed from Lottery self-service machine.
- The claim made by Ms. Newman involved two tickets. It would be a violation of the rules to award Ms. Newman a prize for mismatching parts of two tickets. The integrity of our games is our highest priority which is why we have rules that govern each game. It would be both unethical and unfair to all players to violate the rules for the benefit of one player.
Had Ms. Newman returned the tickets to the store or to the Lottery un-played, she would have received a full refund or replacement tickets.
Based on the ticket codes we obtained from our ticket vendor, we have determined that the top ticket was not a winner, but the small piece of the bottom ticket would have been a $4.00 winning ticket if Ms. Newman had the entire ticket.
It was clear to our customer service representative and our investigators that this too was an altered ticket where someone attempted to tape together two parts of separate tickets to claim a prize. Ms. Newman admitted to our Lottery investigator that she taped the two tickets together.
Officials added that they are reviewing her case to see if any other actions are necessary.
This is a clear violation of Lottery rules and in this case, the law:
58.1-4017. Alteration and forgery; presentation of counterfeit or altered ticket or share; penalty.
Any person who forges, alters or fraudulently makes any lottery ticket or share with intent to present for payment or to transfer to another person to be presented for payment or knowingly presents for payment or transfers to another person to be presented for payment such forged, altered or fraudulently made counterfeit lottery ticket or share sold pursuant to this chapter is guilty of a Class 6 felony.
After questioning Ms. Newman, and explaining the severity of her actions, she admitted to taping the two tickets together. Due to the fact that they could not prove she deliberately taped the tickets and that the vending machine had a technical fault, Adrella will not be facing a forgery claim for the ticket.
It's hard to imagine that someone would actually think that they could tape up two different tickets and then go in and claim the win. But, with so many people struggling in the world today, these types of lottery scandles will continue to crop up.
Thankfully online lottery players don't have to go through this sort of thing, as buying lotto tickets online makes playing the lottery so much easier. No tearing of tickets, no having to wait patiently for that number 16 to win and then finding out you have misplaced the tape again! Nope, playing the lotto online is way less stressful. With just a few clicks of the mouse you can select your favourite lotto game, play your lucky numbers and hit the play now button.
For those of you that have not double checked your entries from the draws that took place last week, click on results and winnings for all the lottery results.
Good luck with your entries!