Man arrested after allegedly stealing his roommate's $10 million lottery ticket
What's the first thing you would do if you found out that you had bought a winning lottery ticket?
Before you get a chance to even confirm your purchase to claim your winnings, you've got a lot of excitement you'd want to share with someone. Like a lot of people would, one recent lottery winner in California immediately told his roommate the good news - but this turned out to be a big mistake.
Authorities in Vacaville, California have confirmed that 35-year-old Adul Saosongyang went as far as forging a winning ticket so he could switch with his roommate and claim the money for himself. If he had been successful he could have ended up claiming $10 million for himself - but he was caught out on the lie after one slip-up.
His roommate purchased a $30 lottery scratcher at a Lucky grocery store on December 20, and soon discovered he was a winner - believing the payout was $10,000.
He shared the news with his roommate, planning on cashing in the following morning, but when he did, he was told his ticket was a forgery. Without his knowledge, Adul had switched the ticket for another while he was sleeping. Suspecting some foul play, he went straight to the police station to file a report.
These suspicions were soon confirmed when Saosongyang went to the Lottery's District Office in Sacramento and attempted to cash in the winning ticket himself. He wasn't able to immediately collect the winnings since everything over $600 has to be investigated by the state's lottery board.
Once they learned the ticket may have been stolen, they collaborated with the Vacaville Police to discover who really won.
Reviewing surveillance footage from the store, they soon found video proof of the roommate buying his ticket, and of Sasangyang buying his own a few hours later.
However, he made one mistake that gave him away. Since he was told the ticket was worth $10,000 instead of $10 million, he had incorrectly altered the winning amount on the fake ticket to $10,000.
According to a Facebook post from the Vacaville Police, Saosongyang was invited to the lottery office to collect his winnings on January 7, but instead, he was greeted by police officers who promptly arrested him on the charge of grand theft. Whether this charge is classified as a felony or a misdemeanour remains to be seen, so it is unclear what penalties he will face.
Lottery officials are reportedly still investigating the case to determine whether the roommate will get his winnings or not.
"You have family and friends that we all love and we all trust that are around us, but sometimes when a large sum of money comes into play, opportunity can override that trust,” Vacaville Police Lt. Chris Polen told CBS Sacramento. However, he is still confident that "everything will work out in the end."
Hopefully, he is right, and the money goes to the real winner of the ticket.