Family sues lottery ticket finder


Finder Keeper Hyper, Loser WeeperSad

spy153's avatar - maren

he was being generous to that family. they were stupid.


"Bad news" is more likely to be associated with annuity prizes than lump-sum winners. It sure seems this way.

konane's avatar - wallace

"In April, the commission ruled against him, ruling that a lottery ticket is like legal tender and certain kinds of bonds — possession is all that is required to prove ownership.

St. John told The Call of Woonsocket, R.I., that he offered Donovan's heirs a third of the winnings, but they wanted half.

"I told my lawyers to take my offer off the table and they get exactly zero," he said. "I'm not going to pay them one penny. They had their opportunity before and they were greedy."

Likely because of the offer to give up a portion, the courts will no doubt award a portion of the win to the heirs.  Might have been better to offer nothing due to the lottery commission's ruling and let them proceed. 

I hope St. John gets the whole amount and is able to collect court costs and his attorney fees. 


As far as I know,lottery tickets are "bearer instruments".If you have it in your hand and the ticket has NOT been signed,it's tough luck if you lost it.

St. John didn't have to offer anything.I hope he gets to keep it all.

Stupidity seems to run in the Donovan family.First tossing the ticket,then being greedy. 

How can you steal a ticket that has been thrown away in a private business.I don't think the Donovans own that trash can. 

Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg

The crux of the suit is that the ticket was stolen. It was not found on his property or person and wasn't signed to indicate that it was his. The only one that can attest that it was his was the store clerk and that's word against word. The ticket says right on the back of it that it's a bearer instrument. You cannot SAY the ticket is yours. It must be in your possession, signed by you, with verification of your signature and social security number in order to recieve payment. If it had indeed been stolen, the lottery officials would have discovered this in the process of verifying the ticket and its owner.

No case, case closed, next case.

Lesson: sign your tickets right after receiving them to indicate you are the rightful owner of that ticket. If it ends up in the garbage, you may still have a case.

I'm glad the man rescinded his one-third offer after the greedy family and its shyster counsel refused it. The worms deserve it and hopefully he will countersuit for all expenses related to defending himself against these vultures. They've forgotten about the guy who won the money in the first place. Sad. I hope my kids don't "remember" me like that.

Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg

...and another did the store clerk know it was Donavan's ticket? It was an instant ticket, not a longtime combo the customer had been playing for years. Any number of people could have discarded their instant tickets in that trash can. How could he possibly know that Donavan purchased that particular ticket? Why did he quickly call Donavan to verify that it was his? Can we say collusion against an 83 year old man?

This smells faintly of crap and if that was my store I wouldn't buy a piece of bubble gum from the crooks.


GREEDY FAMILY - something is always better than nothing and after lawyers fees and time spent in court it will be worth less than one third. Add this to the dumb people lottery collection.

konane's avatar - wallace

Raise your hand if you'd like a jury summons for that trial!!  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Mine's up!!

Kidzmom's avatar - cold

Very sad situation however the ticket was lost and it was found so the finder is the rightful owner of the ticket because it was not even signed by the one who lost it.  He was trying to do a good thing by offering to share but GREED stands in a class all of its own.  This is why they have no money for it.




"Money is not the root of all evil- - people are"


It's not money it's the love of money; the actual verse is found in 1st Timothy chapter 6 verse 10:


For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.



It's the love of money, not money itself causing people to act foolishly.





jeffrey's avatar - moon

It was really nice to offer a 1/3 to the family. I believe that even though you find something you should try to find the owner otherwise it is like theft. I know this is an unpopular idea. I once found a wallet full of money and walked 2 miles to the address in the wallet. The man opened the door, took the wallet and said, "The money had better all be there." and then closed the door. The next time I found a bunch of money I kept the money and threw the wallet in a public mailbox. I was wrong, 2 wrongs do not make a right.

The man who found the ticket was a saint for offering something to the family and that kind of Karma can grow. God bless you.

Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg

Jeffrey, that was an interesting comment. Don't kick an honest man in the face lest he kick you in the ass.

emilyg's avatar - cat anm.gif

Raise your hand if you'd like a jury summons for that trial!!  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Mine's up!!



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