A New York convenience store clerk refused to hand back an elderly man’s winning $14 million Lotto ticket, the New York Post reported Saturday.
Milledge McCassell, 72, went to lottery vendor Dynasty Deli and Grocery to check his $2 ticket Aug. 26 and "Big Winner!" flashed on the electronic scanner available to customers.
However, when he handed his winning ticket to the clerk to find out how much he had won, the clerk said he was not a big winner and refused to hand back the ticket.
New York Lottery Director Gordon Medenica said that when McCassell asked for the ticket back, the clerk told him "he had lost the ticket. The clerk said, 'I already threw it away,'" Medenica added.
McCassell returned to the store three times but was repeatedly rebuffed, and because he had not signed the ticket, anyone turning it in to Lottery officials could have tried to collect.
When State Police officials went to Dynasty Deli the following day, "miraculously" the clerk in question said that he "found" the missing ticket, Medenica said. Lottery officials said they believe the clerk was holding onto the ticket because he was preparing to make a claim for it himself.
On Friday, McCassell was finally able to claim his prize, electing to receive a lump sum payment of $8.7 million after tax was taken out.