Record-breaking jackpots offered by Powerball and National Lottery several weeks ago caused a lot of commotion on both sides of the pond. Before the drawings took place people were franticly buying lotto tickets around the world, and even after a few lucky players finally managed to match the winning numbers, the lotto fever hasn’t stopped. In the days following January 13th, dozens of scammers used the social media to spread lies about scooping a third of a gigantic $1.500.000.000 Powerball jackpot. In the UK, Camelot received hundreds of false claims for a £33.000.000 prize before the actual winner officially came forward.
A pattern is obviously starting to form – every lottery drawing with a gigantic jackpot seems to be followed by players falsely claiming they’re holding the winning ticket in their hands. Here are a few people who thought they could cheat the system by stealing or claiming winning tickets as their own, but landed themselves in a lot of trouble. Don’t forget there’s always a way to win millions fair and square – play Powerball now and a $112.000.000 jackpot could be yours!
1. Hoosier Trio accused of $2.000.000 lottery scam
When Hoosier Lottery officials uncovered the stolen $2.000.000 scratch-off back in April 2015, it kicked off an investigation resulting in a long list of charges against Jackie Parsley II, his younger brother Joseph Parsley and Joseph’s wife Ashlee Campbell-Parsley. Ashlee was the one who redeemed the lottery ticket with the top prize of $2.000.000 at the family store Parsley’s Liquor, which hasn’t had the license to sell lottery tickets at the time since it was pending sale. They used the money to buy a home and several vehicles, before authorities caught on to the scam and charged them with 15 criminal counts in connection with a lottery fraud scheme.
2. Store clerk takes £1.000.000 ticket from a 77-year-old
When Maureen Holt came into the Best One shop in Oldham to check her Euromillions ticket back in 2012, she was told it was worthless and left the store empty-handed. A shop worker Farrakh Nizzar kept it and later called the lottery officials in an attempt to keep the prize. They got suspicious when he couldn’t answer questions about the winning ticket and after the store’s CCTV footage was checked it was clear who the real winner is. Nizzar was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty, while Maureen and her husband Fred were presented with the cheque a month later, finally getting a chance to give up work and enjoy their retirement.
3. Man steals $520.000 from his niece
Back in August 2015, Michael Royston from Connecticut tried to cash a $520.000 ticket, which he received as a gift – which would be a touching story if it was true. When lottery officials asked him to provide the name of the person who had given him the ticket he couldn’t come up with anything, because in reality he stole it from his niece. She told police that she showed the ticket to her uncle in early July and reported it stolen a few days later. When Royston tried to cash the prize lottery officials were made aware it had been reported stolen and he had later been charged with grand theft and fraud.
4. Man accused his friend of stealing $50.000 ticket
As we mentioned before, Powerball drawing on January 13th led to a lot of controversial headlines, including the one of a cab driver who’s been arrested after allegedly stealing his friend’s Powerball ticket worth $50.000. The victim, 66-year-old Victor Castillo, filed a report with police claiming his friend Rubelin Segura took his Powerball ticket. Police found the stolen ticket in the suspect’s possession and arrested him last week, but he’s yet to be proven guilty.
5. Couple finds £30.000 ticket on a supermarket floor
Amanda and Michael Stacey were each given an 11-month suspended jail sentence, after cashing in a £30.000 ticket they’d found on the floor in a supermarket. It turned out the ticket actually belonged to Dorothy McDonagh, who had the receipt to prove it. Before they were caught, the couple already spent the half of the prize on new carpets, treats for their children and paying off their debts, but the court ordered them to pay it all off to the rightful owner – with interest!