OCALA, Fla. – The Florida Lottery is refusing to pay a $500,000 prize until it can inspect the $20 scratch-off ticket, which officials said Thursday appears to be a misprint.
Joe Curcio, 56, says he got the ticket at a service plaza Sunday on Florida's Turnpike.
The Gold Rush ticket has the numeral 1 on the top row and a numeral 1 above the $500,000 scratch-off piece, making the ticket appear to be a winner. But when Curcio had it scanned, the ticket's bar code indicated it wasn't.
Curcio, who owns a used car dealership, said lottery officials told him the top number actually was a "13" that was misprinted.
"They're saying it's a misprint. How do I know it's a misprint?" he asked. He has hired an attorney to press his claim.
Lottery spokeswoman Jacqueline Barreiros said Curcio still needed to turn over the ticket for a full inspection.
"We can't say whether we will pay the jackpot or not until we go through the process," she said.