VACAVILLE, CA (KTXL/CNN) - A 35-year-old man in California was arrested after police say he tried to claim his roommate’s lotto winnings and trick the roommate with a forged ticket.
Police say a man bought a $30 scratch-off lottery ticket at a Vacaville, CA, grocery store in December with hopes of winning some extra cash for the holidays. It turned out to be a winner, one he thought was worth $10,000.
The man returned home and shared his good news with his two roommates, but the next day, when he went to collect his money, he was told the ticket was not a winner and had been altered.
"And we had a discussion with him because he said, ‘No, I won. I saw I won $10,000 in this game,' and he kind of told us some stuff,” said Russ Lopez with the California Lottery.
According to police, the lottery winner suspected one of his roommates must have stolen the winning ticket while he was sleeping, so he reported the theft.
The day after the man tried to claim his winnings, police say his 35-year-old roommate Adul Saosongyang attempted to cash in the original ticket.
At that point, Saosongyang learned the scratcher wasn’t worth $10,000 but instead $10 million.
Lottery officials were not aware at the time that the ticket had been reported stolen, but when they began their customary investigation, done on all winnings over $600, they went to the grocery store where the ticket had been purchased and were told it may have been stolen.
Investigators then teamed up with police, who were already investigating the alleged theft. Together, they determined Saosongyang had allegedly purchased a similar ticket to his roommate’s, altered it and swapped it for the winning ticket.
The alleged forgery had the wrong winning amount listed: $10,000 instead of $10 million.
Saosongyang was told he could collect the winnings Monday, but when he arrived, he was instead arrested and booked on suspicion of grand theft.