California man arrested for stealing roommate's $10m lottery ticket

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Initially, the victor thought it was worth $10,000. The lucky lottery contestant couldn't contain his excitement.

He told his two roommates about the win and tried to claim his prize the next morning.

Police and lottery officials began comparing notes and determined that Saosongyang had bought a similar Scratcher ticket, altered it, and swapped it with the winning ticket.

He would rue the day he ignored the warning of Shakespeare's King Lear to, "Mend your speech a little, Lest you may mar your fortunes".

The next day, when he went back to claim his winnings - believed to be $14,000 - the store told him that his ticket was not actually a victor, and had also been tampered with. But the ticket he presented was not a victor.

Police in Vacaville say a man stole a lottery scratcher worth $10 million from his roommate.

Suspecting one of his roommates of stealing the real ticket and replacing it with a fraudulent one, he reported it to the police department.

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Adul Saosongyang certainly will not be remembered as a master criminal, but the Vacaville Police Department in California seemed to enjoy bringing him in when his amateurish plan to make off with a large sum of money (much larger than he realised) essentially saw him hand himself in to them.

It didn't take long for police to unwind the mystery of the good ticket gone bad.

On Monday, following a joint investigation of the District Lottery Office and the Vacaville Police Department, lottery's investigators invited Saosongyang to its office to collect his winnings.

The man misunderstood the extent of his prize, thinking he had won "just" $US10,000 ($14,000).

At this point, Lottery officials were unaware the ticket had been reported stolen and began an administrative investigation that is conducted for all winning tickets valued at over $600.

In the days leading up to Christmas, the man, who has not been publicly identified by authorities, bought a $30 Scratcher ticket at a local grocery store in his hometown of Vacaville, Calif.

If you're wondering 'how is it even possible to cost your housemate that much money?', the answer lies with a very desirable lottery ticket. Investigators visited the store and found out that the ticket had been stolen. But cases like this show that the high-stakes contest can also motivate more petty forms of personal betrayal.

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