California man accused of stealing roommate’s $10 million winning lottery ticket

January 10, 2019

California man accused of stealing roommate’s $10 million winning lottery ticket

VACAVILLE, California — A man is in police custody after investigators say he stole his roommate’s winning lottery ticket and attempted to cash it himself.

Police also say the accused thief, Adul Saosongyang, 35, thought the ticket was worth $10,000.

He was a bit off: It was a $10 million winner.

According to a police statement, the man who purchased the $30 scratch-off ticket on Dec. 20 also thought it was a $10,000 winner and had told his two roommates about his good fortune.

When the victim went to the California Lottery office to cash the ticket, he was told it was not a winner and that ticket had been altered.

The victim believed one of his roommates must have stolen the winning ticket and reported it to police. Meanwhile, police say Saosongyang had gone to a lottery office and turned in the winning ticket and was told it was worth $10 million.

The lottery reviews all tickets worth $600 or more. Police say a lottery official went to the store where the ticket was purchased and was told it might be stolen. Police detectives and lottery officials learned Saosongyang had purchased another ticket, altered it and then swapped it with his roommate’s winning ticket.

Saosongyang was arrested Monday on a charge of grand theft when he arrived at the lottery office to collect his winnings, police say.

A lottery spokesman tells NPR that officials still need to determine that the unidentified victim is the rightful owner of the winning ticket.

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