VACAVILLE (CBS13) — Most people have dreams of being a lucky winner, but for one Vacaville man, that dream turned into a nightmare.
An interesting and unique case out of Vacaville. A man is in custody accused of stealing a lottery ticket from his roommate. Turns out the ticket is worth $10 million.
Police say on December 20, the man who asked the department to not identify him, bought a $30 scratcher ticket from the Lucky Grocery store on Peabody Road.
“At some point, he scratches that ticket and realizes he has a winner which he thinks is $10,000,” said Lieutenant Chris Polen of the Vacaville Police Department.
The man verified his win with the store. He then told his roommates about it. But when he went to the Lottery’s District Office in Sacramento the next day to claim his prize, he’s told the ticket is not only not a winner, it was altered.
“At some point during the night, the altered ticket and a winning ticket was exchanged,” Polen said.
Police say because the victim and suspect thought the ticket was worth $10,000, the suspect likely altered a number on the ticket to match a $10,000 prize. However, the ticket was actually worth $10 million.
“We have our victim going into the store, which is date and time stamped, of him actually buying the lottery ticket,” Polen said.
Police also have a video of 35-year-old Adul Saosongyang, the victim’s roommate, going into the store hours later to buy a ticket.
After a joint investigation between Vacaville police and lottery officials, Saosongyang was invited to the Sacramento lottery headquarters to collect his winnings, but instead of walking away with millions of dollars, he was arrested by Vacaville Police detectives.
“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,” Polen said.
Officials say the case is a reminder to keep your winning ticket close. Some tell CBS13, they’d take it even further.
“I would sign the back of the ticket as soon as I knew I won that way I’d have some kind of proof,” Amy Grunwald said.
According to Polen, because the damage is potentially $10 million, in this case, the suspect is being charged with grand theft, a felony.
Meanwhile, lottery officials are still investigating the case. They will determine if the victim gets the money.
CBS13 reached out to them for comment but have yet to hear back.