A pair of convenience store workers tried to cash in on a $3,000,000 Mega Millions winning jackpot ticket a customer accidentally left at the store’s counter, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office wrote in a statement.
Carly Nunes, 23, of Lakeville and Joseph Reddem, 32, of Manchester, New Hampshire, were both indicted on several charges in connection with the reported stolen lottery ticket, officials staid.
On Jan. 17, A man purchased a bag of chips and several Massachusetts State Lottery tickets from Savas Liquor store at 330 Bedford St. in Lakeville, officials stated. The man also added a multiplier to a Mega Millions lottery ticket he purchased.
Nunes, who worked at the counter of the liquor store, checked out the man’s items and printed out the tickets. Officials said the man accidentally left the store without two of his lottery tickets.
Around 45 minutes after the man left, Nunes checked out another person who purchased five lottery tickets. The patron told Nunes that he was given two extra tickets and handed them back to the counter clerk.
Federal officials said at this point Nunes realized the two tickets belonged to the first customer. A lottery drawing later that evening revealed that one of the two tickets was a winning Mega Millions ticket worth $3 million.
Reddem, who’s also an employee at Savas, drove Nunes and her boyfriend to the state lottery headquarters in Dorchester two days later to claim the prize, officials stated.
Nunes wrote up and submitted her claim for the prize to a state lottery customer service representative. The ticket was torn with burn marks all around it, officials added.
The lottery representative told Nunes the winning ticket was worth $3 million. Officials said Nunes and her boyfriend embraced each other and began to celebrate after hearing the news.
Shortly after, lottery headquarters security footage reportedly observed Nunes and Reddem arguing in a lobby. Lottery officials who overheard the dispute said Reddem wanted a larger cut of the jackpot after Nunes told him she’ll only pay him “$200,000.″
The argument coupled with the condition of the ticket led state lottery officials to become skeptical. Massachusetts Lottery investigators interviewed Nunes about the ticket’s condition.
Nunes told investigators she accidentally tore the ticket taking it out of her wallet and burnt part of it after placing it on a pipe, according to the district attorney’s office.
Authorities told Nunes they’re opening an investigation into the ticket and she may receive the money at the end of the investigation.
Savas store security footage confirmed that another person, not Nunes, purchased the winning ticket, officials said.
During a follow-up interview with investigators, Nunes told authorities that she didn’t purchase the ticket but mistakingly took it from the counter, according to officials.
On Feb. 13, nearly a month after the winning ticket was printed out, authorities tracked down the man who purchased the ticket and interviewed him as part of their investigation.
The Massachusetts State Lottery plans to allow the man to claim the $3 million winning jackpot.
Nunes was charged with larceny from a building, attempted larceny, presentation of a fake claim and witness intimidation. Reddem was charged with attempted extortion.