A Canadian woman ran out of luck after buying a winning lottery ticket with a stolen credit card and then getting nabbed by police when she tried to claim the $50,000 prize.
The incident happened in Newfoundland, where police said a man reported that his wallet had been stolen and that his credit cards were being used for purchases at nearby shops. As the Sudbury Star reported, police investigated and found out that one of the purchases was for a lottery ticket that happened to win “a large amount of money.”
Then it was just a waiting game for police to get a description of the thief, which they did by using the store surveillance cameras and the locations of the purchases. When police learned that the woman was on her way to a local lottery office to collect the $50,000 she had won, they were there waiting for her.
Police picked up the 33-year-old woman on two counts of possession of a stolen credit card and five counts of fraud. To make matters worse, police also caught the 46-year-old man who drove her to the office for driving a suspended license, causing them to impound the car.
Had the woman not happened to buy a winning lottery ticket, police may never have found her.
“What makes it unusual is that someone purchased a lottery ticket that actually was a winner,” said Const. James Cadigan.
The woman may have been better off not winning the money, experts say. Many lottery winners have said that they regret ever taking in the enormous prizes, including James Groves, who split a $336 million jackpot with a friend in 2009. Groves said he became inundated with calls from people asking for money and that his dream of living as a multi-millionaire turned into a nightmare.
“Winning is the beginning,” he said, according to Forbes. “Living with it is pure hell.”
While a multi-million dollar jackpot may have a massively different effect than $50,000, the sudden loss could be a wakeup call to the Canadian woman to change her allegedly thieving ways — and to find a friend who is legally allowed to drive.
She won’t be getting a whiff of the money in any event. Police said the woman who bought the winning $50,000 lottery ticket had to forfeit her winnings after the arrest. The unclaimed prize money will be added back into the lottery’s pool of money and used for future prizes, lottery officials said.