Clerk Runs Off With Million Dollar Lotto Ticket

Customer's trust betrayed, guy probably in Asia
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2009 6:59 AM CDT
A freshly printed Powerball ticket is seen at a Citgo gas station in Wisconsin in this file photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A former Texas convenience store clerk is on the lam and living large, police say, after making off with an unwitting customer’s million dollar lotto ticket. Willis Willis of Grand Prairie, Texas bought tickets at the Lucky Food Store every week, trusting the clerks to check if he’d won. When he brought the million dollar ticket in, clerk Pankaj Joshi dutifully handed him $2—then handed his boss his two-week notice.

Willis would never have known he’d been fleeced if Joshi's coworkers hadn’t become suspicious when he cashed the winning ticket—in four years, they’d never seen him buy a ticket. They alerted authorities, who pored over the store’s receipts to find the real winner. They’ve managed to recover $365,000 of the money, but the rest, and Joshi himself, appears long gone; they believe the ex-clerk’s in Asia.