He Thought He Won $10K on a Scratch-Off. It Was Much More

And then the ticket went missing—and his roommate has been arrested
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2019 9:44 AM CST

(Newser) – A California man was recently hit with three surprises: one, that he'd won big bucks from a lottery ticket; two, that the prize was way more than he thought; and three, that his roommate swiped it and tried to claim it as his own. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the swirl of activity started on Dec. 20, when the Vacaville resident forked over $30 for a scratch-off ticket "with hopes of winning a little extra cash for the holidays," the Vacaville Police Department says in a Facebook post. The man discovered he'd won, and he went home and told his two roommates about the $10,000 he soon thought would be his. When he went to the local lottery office the next day to cash in the ticket, however, he was told a) the ticket wasn't a winner, and b) it had been altered. The man suspected the ticket wasn't the one he'd purchased, and that one of his roommates had taken the real ticket while he slept.

He filed a police report, and sure enough, the next day his roommate, 35-year-old Adul Saosongyang, strolled into the lottery office with the ticket. There, another surprise came into play: The ticket was actually worth $10 million. The lottery office started a standard probe into all winnings over $600, got wind of the police report, and on Monday invited Saosongyang back to collect his prize—except instead of Saosongyang getting a payout, he was arrested on charges of grand theft. The Washington Post notes grand theft can be deemed either a misdemeanor (leading to up to one year in county jail with a conviction) or a felony (up to three years in state prison); it's not clear yet which Saosongyang will be hit with. As for the man who originally purchased the ticket, that's also unclear, though a Vacaville PD rep says, "I'm sure everything will work out in the end." (Read more lottery stories.)

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