Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mo' Lottery Hijinx

You can't make this stuff up.  The State of NC finally does something (excellent editorial from the Star-News) about all these "sweepstakes internet cafes", while at the same time, keeps in place the State-run lottery.  Hypocrisy and monopolized government greed incorporated.  The Lottery is a fool's errand to start with, and to have it run as a monopoly by the state is just not right.   Here's yet another story of the lottery gone bad, from the Greensboro News-Record:

GREENSBORO — Two people were arrested Monday after they allegedly stole winning tickets from detectives in a North Carolina lottery sting.
A detective presented a winning ticket on Feb. 18 at Ken’s Quickie Mart, 305 W. Main St., according to warrants.
The clerk, Yogesh Jayantibhai Patel, 47, of 2405 Vanstory St., ran the Bonus Crossword Game ticket through the computer. Although the computer made a tone, indicating the ticket was a $1,000 winner, Patel told the detective it was a loser, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office said.
Patel and Minaben Yogesh Patel, 50, of the same address, cashed in the ticket the next day, deputies said.
Bond for each was $10,000.
The article does not say why the detectives were doing a sting.  I suppose we can presume that the crooks scammers? had successfully completed this scheme before, perhaps many times over.  Can we not also assume that other lottery vendors are doing this as well? 

I should remind you of this story from earlier:
watts4u2 post from last July
 Ah, the sweet lottery is so good to us, what could go wrong?  Looks like this Kangaroo cashier gamed the system and had his wife win a cool $1 Million Dollars!  My favorite part,

"The lottery is seeking recovery of the prize money paid to Fields."

Nice work.  The lottery pays off again! 

I've never seen a follow-up to that story, though I've looked online.....please comment if you know more!  Edit: Just found it!
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:01 p.m.
A Wilmington man charged with the theft of a winning lottery ticket that his wife claimed, pleaded guilty this month to stealing the ticket from the gas station where he worked.
Sean Mewherter, 21, pleaded guilty Feb. 13 in Brunswick County Superior Court to felony larceny by an employee. In lieu of five to 15 months in jail, Mewherter received 24 months of probation and a $316 fine.In July, Mewherter's wife Mikala Fields took a $1 million winning 20X The Money ticket to lottery officials, and received a cash payout of $408,003 after taxes were withheld from the $600,000 lump sum.
Following the announcement of the award, the N.C. Education Lottery was contacted by Mewherter's employer, Kangaroo Express, and an investigation began into how Fields obtained the winning ticket. The investigation revealed that Mewherter stole the ticket while he was working at the Kangaroo Express on Yaupon Drive in Oak Island, according to the NCEL.
Fields was ordered to return the winnings. She's not been charged in the incident.
Doesn't say how much of our hard earned lottery money we got back, but there you go, justice!

Flashback: Have I been consistent on the lottery?  Click that link, to see previous lottery posts, as well as my endorsements from the election 2004.... I endorsed 4 candidates..... 2 Republicans and Erskine Bowles.  And John Kerry.  They all lost.