The story starts at a store called ACME in Doylestown Borough, Pennsylvania.
On 21st March 2019, a customer came into the store requesting $22 worth of Pick 6 lottery tickets. When the customer was handed multiple entries across 4 lottery tickets, he then requested that each entry was printed individually.
The request was granted, and new lottery tickets printed. The original 4 lottery tickets were then handed back to the cashier, left behind the counter and deemed 'unpurchased'.
After the draw was made at 8pm that day, the cashier scanned the unpurchased tickets, and soon realised one of them was the winning ticket for $4.15 million. She then proceeded to buy the ticket with her own money, without the supervision of another staff member.
The cashier then made the winning lottery claim with Pennsylvania Lottery and deemed to be a winning ticket.
Whilst Pennsylvania Lottery seemingly had no issue with the winning ticket being paid out, then had no reason to stop payment unless a restraining order was put in place to prevent a payout.
However, ACME then found out about the winning ticket and decided to file a lawsuit against the cashier with the winning lottery ticket.
On the 16th April 2019, temporary restraining order was put in place by a county judge after ACME's lawsuit.
Right now, all three parties have agreed to put the winning cash into an escrow until they can legally resolve the legal owner of the money.
What's the issue with ACME?
Well, lawyers for ACME argue 2 cases:
1. Cashiers are not allowed to process their own purchases themselves, and in fact must as ask a colleague to do this for them. This is standard procedure for most stores.
2. Secondly, the company have stated that they are still charged for tickets that end up unpurchased as the lottery does not reimburse them. They therefore claim that the winning ticket is the property of the company.
A counter claim by lawyers of the cashier state that store colleagues are routinely allowed to purchased unwanted lottery tickets, and there is a history of the company allowing them to do so.
Right now, the case remains open. The cashier has been suspended from her job, and there is no active criminal case.
This sounds like it could be a complex court case and would be interesting to see what happens.
What do you think - Who should keep the money?
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