New Mexico Lottery: Roswell Man’s $500,000 Winning Ticket Is A Misprint, Won’t Get Any Money

If it weren’t for bad luck, he’d have no luck at all.

A New Mexico man thought he had a winning half-million-dollar instant lottery ticket, only to find out that it’s a misprint that the New Mexico Lottery won’t honor.

John Wines bought an instant (or, scratch-off) lottery ticket at the Shell station in Roswell last December, according to KOB in Albuquerque. His winning numbers were “1” and “2” — that is, for every “1” or “2” on his lottery ticket, he’d win the prize amount underneath it.

You can imagine what he felt when he saw, not one, but five winning numbers, worth a grand total of $500,000, according to KSHB in Kansas City.

But when he took it back to the gas station to redeem it (do gas stations in New Mexico keep half a million in the cash register?), he was told it was a misprint and it wouldn’t be honored.

“I took it back in and she told me, ‘That is not a winner.’ They told me that it was a misprint and they don’t pay off for misprints.”

Below is a close-up photo of the lottery ticket in question, which makes the misprint a little more clear.

Close-up of the misprint New Mexico Lottery ticket.

Looking to the right of the red “1’s,” you can see a little bit of ink next to them — they were meant to be other numbers, not “1.” Also, note the black number “14,” with the letters “FTN” underneath it. Printing a series of letters beneath the number they represent is a safety feature used in instant lottery tickets to prevent fraud. The letters beneath the red “1’s” say something other than “One” underneath them.

There’s also the fact that the prize limit for that particular New Mexico Lottery game is $250,000.

However, John Wines isn’t taking his bad luck lying down. He complained to the New Mexico Lottery headquarters, but he got no relief there, either. He got a polite e-mail basically saying, “Sorry about your luck.”

“We did find a flaw in that particular pack of tickets and it’s been reported to our printer. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I did complete a reconstruction of your ticket and it was not a winner.”

For his trouble, the New Mexico Lottery offered Mr. Wines $100 in free lottery tickets, but he wants his half million.

“It’s like I told them, I didn’t misprint it. I bought the ticket in good faith thinking if I won I was going to get my money. And they told me no, they absolutely, positively told me no.”

Do you think the New Mexico Lottery should pay Mr. Wines his half million in spite of the misprint? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Image courtesy of: KOB]