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Scamming store owner loses lottery license

Dec 20, 2014, 10:55 pm

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Massachusetts Lottery

RD's Deli and Market in Melrose, Massachusetts, will no longer be selling lottery tickets now that its owner has been accused of trying to scam a mentally disabled woman out of her winnings.

The woman bought a winning ticket worth $10,000 at the convenience store, but when she went to redeem it, the store's owner allegedly told her that the prize was only $1,000, and gave her $950 in cash.

Separate from the attempt to scam the woman, handing out that much cash is, in itself, a violation, as prizes over $600 must be claimed at one of six regional lottery office locations.

Finding it fishy, the woman told a family member about the interaction; the relative then got in touch with the Massachusetts State Lottery and provided identifying details about the ticket. Lottery officials were able to confirm that it had been sold at RD'S Deli and Market, and questioned the owner, who they say admitted to taking the ticket.

Luckily, he hadn't redeemed it yet.

The ticket was then returned to the woman, who claimed the prize on December 16.

Following a hearing at lottery headquarters on Dec. 11, the store's lottery license has been "indefinitely suspended," though lottery officials are looking to permanently terminate it.

Melrose Police and Massachusetts State Police are assisting in the investigation.

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