Winner to sue the Texas LotteryMonday November 2nd 2009
Willis Willis, a 67 year old who won $1 million on the lottery, claims he was defrauded of his winnings when the cashier who checked his ticket claimed that the ticket had only won $2. The cashier then retained the ticket and claimed the prize himself before fleeing to his native Nepal, leaving the winner to sue the Texas Lottery in order to collect his prize.
Although about half of the money has been recovered from U.S banks, only some of it will go to Willis, the genuine winner.
Sean Breen, who is the attorney acting for Willis, feels that it is unjust that his client should be forced to sue the Texas Lottery in order to claim his prize and hopes that his meeting with the lottery’s general counsel next week will prove productive.
In the four years that Willis had been using the store in question to buy lottery tickets for the Texas Lottery, he has always been treated with respect and had never had any cause for concern with regards to the integrity and honesty of Pankaj Joshi, the cashier accused of fraudulently claiming the lottery prize. However, it was the honesty and quick thinking of Joshis’ co-workers that led to the fraud being discovered. After they became suspicious of their colleagues new found wealth, they immediately called the lottery commission who verified that Willis had in fact bought the lottery ticket.
A Travis County grand jury has since indicted Joshi of the offence of claiming a Lottery prize by fraud and second degree felony.