Man Sues After Being Denied $5M Lottery Pay Day
Lottery commission says man's 16-year-old son wasn't old enough to buy ticket
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2017 9:37 AM CDT
Illuminated buttons show lottery ticket choices.   (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

(Newser) – A Long Beach, Calif., man has filed a lawsuit after he was denied a $5 million Scratchers ticket prize on a technical measure: his teenage son bought the ticket. Per the Daily Bulletin, Ward Thomas’ suit filed Friday against the California Lottery Commission alleges breach of contract among other complaints. Thomas says he sent his 16-year-old son Benjamin into a Mobil gas station to exchange and cash out 12 winning tickets in October, reports ABC 7. The father and son took home $230 along with five $20 Scratchers tickets, which they played when they returned home. One of those tickets yielded a $5 million prize, which he says he validated that night at a 7-Eleven and later again at a Santa Ana lottery office.

Ward says that after submitting his claim, the lottery commission confirmed the winning, but come December, denied his claim for the cash prize because his son was not of legal age (18) to purchase the ticket. The suit claims that workers at the gas station, also a defendant, never said Benjamin was too young to buy the tickets and failed to enforce this rule. It also accuses the commission of false advertising since there were no signs at the store stating age requirements. The California Lottery Commission and Mobil station did not comment on the pending litigation.

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