PALMDALE (CBSLA.com) — A $75 payout on a $75,000 “winning” lottery ticket was due to a misunderstanding and not fraud, California Lottery officials said Thursday.
The lottery mix up was made on March 25, when a random undercover compliance check was conducted at the Chevron Gas station on North Sierra Highway in Palmdale, officials said. The store clerk underpaid the undercover Lottery investigator on a decoy “winning” ticket for $75,000, paying out just $75.
Lottery officials say they have concluded its investigation into the compliance check.
“While there were some inconsistencies regarding the proper procedures in handling the lottery ticket, the Lottery is satisfied that the incident was a result of the clerk’s misunderstanding of those procedures,” officials said.
The station’s retail staff will undergo further training, and Lottery officials commended the station manager Shamsun Islam for her effort in trying to find the “winner.”
Islam had contacted a television station and provided surveillance photos and video of the man in hopes of tracking him down to pay him the full amount — not realizing he was an undercover investigator and that the ticket was fake.
Lottery officials say players should always ask for the “validation receipt” when asking store clerks to check your ticket, sign the back of your ticket in ink, make sure any Scratchers you purchase are free of marks, alterations or pre-existing scratches and that they are freshly torn off their roll at the time of purchase.