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N.M. man told $500k winning lottery ticket a 'misprint'

Jan 5, 2015, 1:10 pm

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New Mexico Lottery

A New Mexico man thought he won big bucks on a lottery scratcher only to find out it was a misprint.

In December, John Wines bought a scratch-off lottery ticket at the Shell gas station in Roswell, New Mexico.

The winning numbers were 1 and 2.

As John started scratching, he came across not 1,2,3 or 4 — but 5 winning numbers, totaling over $500,000.

If you look closely at the ticket, you can see part of a number that's supposed to be next to the 1's, but it's very faint and you can't tell what it is.

"There's a 1 right here for $250,000," said Wines. "Right below that is another 1 and it's a $250,000 winner."

But there was a problem - the maximum prize for the ticket is $250,000.

Down below is another 1 for $75, a 2 for $500, and another 2 for $50.

John says he thought he hit the big one. But he says when he went to the gas station to get his money, it didn't work.

"I took it back in and she told me that is not a winner," said Wines. "They told me that it was a misprint and they don't pay off for misprints."

John says he contacted the New Mexico Lottery who replied in an email saying, "We did find a flaw in that particular pack of tickets and it's been reported to our printer. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I did complete a reconstruction of your ticket and it was not a winner."

John begs to differ.

"I mean, if you thought you won $500,000 and somebody tells you that you didn't, and you can prove to them you did, it's pretty stressful for somebody to say, 'no you're not getting your money,'" said Wines.

John says he just retired and $500,000 would be nice.

"If it was $50 or $75, I would not think a thing about it," said Wines. "But this is $500,000. That's a half million."

The New Mexico Lottery did offer him $100 in lottery tickets.

"It's like I told them, I didn't misprint it," said Wines. "I bought the ticket in good faith thinking if I won I was going to get my money. And they told me no, they absolutely, positively told me no."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Thanks to Leland B. for the tip.

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