Massachusetts Clerks Indicted For False Claim on $3M Lottery Win
Two liquor store clerks from Massachusetts are facing criminal charges after attempting to cash a $3 million lottery ticket the winning owner accidentally left behind in their store.
After a four-month investigation and subsequent search, the rightful ticket owner has now been found and informed of his win. The attempted thieves were charged last Friday with extortion, larceny, and presentation of a false claim.
In January 2023, one unnamed lottery player became $3 million richer after hitting the jackpot in the Massachusetts State Lottery on a Mega Millions ticket. However, he was unaware of the event, having absent-mindedly left the winning ticket behind where he purchased it at Savas Liquors in Lakeville, MA.
Carly Nunes, 23, was working at the checkout that day. When another customer entered 45 minutes after the winner left and also bought lottery tickets, they noticed the extra tickets. The customer handed them back to Nunes, who then pocketed them for herself, according to a Plymouth District Attorney’s Office press release.
That night, the Mega Millions numbers came in on the fateful ticket. Meanwhile, the actual ticket purchaser was blissfully unaware, having briefly looked for the ticket, only to conclude it was lost and without checking the results.
Two days later, fellow clerk Joseph Reddem, 32, would drive Nunes and her boyfriend to the Massachusetts State Lottery headquarters in Dorchester with the winning ticket.
The ticket was torn in places and had burn marks. But the damage wasn’t severe enough to invalidate the claim.
Nunes filled out the forms and claimed her stolen win, celebrating with her boyfriend. However, once they met up with Reddem in the lobby, things went south for the would-be thieves.
Nunes and Reddem were overheard arguing by Lottery officials and staff, with Reddem allegedly demanding a bigger share of the jackpot than the $200,000 Nunes was offering.
This heated argument, coupled with the torn and burned ticket, was enough for officials to halt proceeding with the win and open an investigation.
Nunes initially told Lottery investigators she had absolutely bought the ticket herself. But during a second interview, she then claimed she had “inadvertently” obtained it.
She said the tears and burn marks were also an accident, involving a heated pipe in the workplace.
This didn’t satisfy Lottery investigators, who turned the matter over to Massachusetts State Police. Officers then looked through store surveillance footage and quickly surmised what really happened.
It took them a further month to locate the actual winner using community canvassing, fliers with screenshots of the security footage, and local interviews.
The State Lottery intends to honor the $3 million win for the rightful purchaser.
Nunes faces one count each of larceny from a building, attempted larceny, presentation of a false claim, and witness intimidation. Reddem has been charged with one count of attempted extortion.
The pair are awaiting trial. No court date has been set.