His purchased ticket has won the lotto in California but he was denied the $5 million prize. The man has sued both the lottery commission and the state for the big winnings he did not get. There’s a catch, though.
Ward Thomas sent his 16-year-old son in October to buy five scratchers from a Mobil gas station on Bellflower Boulevard in Long Beach, California using a dozen other winning tickets. After getting the tickets, the teen then passed them on to his dad.
Thomas scratched the tickets at home and discovered that one was a winning ticket with a prize of $5million.
Thomas validated the ticket at a 7-Eleven outlet within hours after purchasing it. The next day, he validated it again at the lottery’s Santa Ana district office.
Two months later, says his lawsuit, the state and the California Lottery Commission “improperly” withheld the prize money from Thomas saying his 16-year-old son was not legally allowed to play, and was the one who bought the ticket. Lottery participants must be 18 years old.
The gas station from where the ticket was bought was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The suit states that the gas station “falsely represented” that minors can buy on behalf of someone else. The store clerk also supposedly never asked the teenager for his age or identification.
The suit also says:” Nowhere inside the Mobil store was there any signage informing customers that they had to be 18 years of age in order to obtain California State Lottery Scratchers tickets. The lawsuit also argues that the commission failed to enforce its own rules and neglected to train retailers about them.
Thomas is seeking more than $50,000 in general damages, as well as economic losses and specific damages for breach of contract.
It is not clear whether he was also suing to get “back” the proper prize of $5 million from the winning ticket.