Lottery Controversy Brews At Palmdale Chevron After Clerk Pays Out $75 For $75K Ticket

PALMDALE (CBSLA.com) — Security camera video that captured an undercover investigation in Palmdale is now at the center of a lottery controversy.

Surveillance video shows a decoy “winning” lottery ticket for $75,000 was paid out for just $75 at a Chevron store, where the California Lottery conducted an undercover investigation March 25.

Store manager Nahar Islam tells CBS2/KCAL9 she called authorities the following day to report a mistake by her employee.

“She told me, ‘We’ll come pick up the ticket.’ I said, ‘OK, fine,’ but they don’t come back.  They didn’t contact me,” Islam said.

Lottery officials told CBS2/KCAL9 Monday the man seen in the video receiving the cash is a Lottery employee who went in with a decoy ticket to see how the retailer would handle it.

According to Lottery records, store manager Islam won a $20,000 dollar scratcher in 2008, which is legal.

The store had 18 winners of $600 or more between 2003–2010, but none since.

The Lottery says it routinely conducts undercover operations like the one at the Palmdale store to see if retailers keep winning tickets without telling customers they’ve won.

California Lottery Deputy Director Russ Lopez told CBS2/KCAL9 there are a lot of red flags in this case.

“First of all, they kept the ticket which they shouldn’t do. They didn’t give a validation receipt back to the player, our investigator. That’s another problem,” Lopez said.

The Lottery is now checking its phone records to see if the store did in fact report a mistake.

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