16 Sep Lottery Payments Potentially Voided for Woman’s $20,000 Win
When something looks too good to be true, it probably is. That’s the lesson one Washington, D.C. woman is learning after she thought she won $20,000 in lottery payments on a scratch-off ticket late last month. Ardella Newman was in disbelief when she saw her ‘winning number’ matched the corresponding prize of $20,000, according to local news affiliate KTLA5.
“When I saw that $20,000, you don’t know how excited I was,” Newman said.
While her relatively small winnings wouldn’t elicit anything close to a Mega Millions annuity which includes one immediate and 29 subsequent annual payments that increase by 5%, she didn’t even have the chance to decide between selling lottery payments for a cash lump sum versus annuity settlement structure before the bad news struck. Lottery officials claim that her ticket was issued in error. They’re arguing that legitimate tickets have ‘winning numbers’ on the top, but Newman’s ticket displays them on the bottom.
“One ticket was cut off near the top, and the corresponding top of a different ticket was still attached at the perforation,” Virginia Lottery Communications Specialist John Hagerty said in a statement. “We can not award a prize for a nonwinning ticket. Additionally, we cannot take parts of two tickets to create one winning ticket.”
Unfortunately, she already had planned on using some of the lottery payments to help pay for medical bills for her ailing sister. Smart thinking considering 70% of all lotto winners lose or spend all their money within five years. Newman has since filed a complaint with the Virginia Lottery and is awaiting the results of an investigation by the organizations Audit and Security Department.
“I want the money that I thought I won,” she said. “If you look at the ticket, it says I won this money. It wasn’t anything that I did wrong. It’s what they did wrong.”
Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence against Newman though is the barcode and validation code on the ticket. Both say the ticket was not a winner according to Hagerty. Until the organization makes a ruling Newman can only wait, hope, and continue going to work at her old job like 48% of lottery winners do anyway. And any future lottery tickets she buys are sure to get a much more extensive look before she starts counting her winnings.