Winning the lottery can set you up for life. You can take all the money in one go, and pay off staggering debt, or invest in a business opportunity. You could also get the money as an annuity, and have an amazing source of income for decades. The Mega Millions annuity, for example, is paid out as one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments that increase 5% each time.
Now, imagine being told that your winning lottery ticket doesn’t count.
When a Washington D.C. woman won $20,000, she couldn’t have been more excited, she told WJLA. However, the Virginia State Lottery said that her ticket doesn’t count. Apparently, Ardella Newman’s ticket had been issued in error.
Apparently, winning tickets have winning numbers at the top, but Newman’s winning numbers appeared toward the bottom. The Virginia Lottery said that this likely happened, because the machine cut the ticket in the wrong spot, basically allowing Newman to combine two tickets to win.
She argues that she bought it as one ticket, and that since the error wasn’t hers, she deserves to receive the winnings.
“I want the money that I thought I won. If you look at the ticket, it says I won this money,” said Newman. “It wasn’t anything that I did wrong. It’s what they did wrong.”
This isn’t the first time something like this happened in the lottery. Earlier this year, a New Mexico man’s $500,000 winning ticket was misprinted, making it worthless. Two numbers that looked like winners actually had extra digits that were printed as smudges. The New Mexico Lottery offered him $100 in the form of lottery tickets as compensation, but told him he wouldn’t receive the $500,000 under any circumstances. Now, he’s filed a lawsuit against the state lottery.
“It’s like I told them, I didn’t misprint it,” the New Mexico man told KOB. “I bought the ticket in good faith thinking if I won I was going to get my money.”
Newman has only filed a complaint, so far, while the Virginia Lottery says it’s investigating her case.