The Water Cooler – Throwing Away a Winning Lottery Ticket

June 26, 2014 12:00 pm · 40 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

Two men back east are suing the New Jersey lottery because they say they had a winning powerball ticket worth $1M, but threw it out because the lottery didn’t update its website and the men thought they lost.

Apparently when the men checked the numbers, three hours after the drawing, they didn’t notice that the numbers were from the prior drawing, and not from the drawing just a few hours earlier.

Thinking they lost, they threw away the ticket. Somehow, shortly after they threw out the ticket, they realized they had the winning numbers, but the ticket was already on its way to a landfill.

QUESTION: Do you think the men have a case, or do you think they should have been a little more careful while researching the winning numbers?

Talk about it….

anonanonagain June 26, 2014 at 12:09 PM

This is how our society works these days. Spoiled, self entitled, whining ingrates. They threw the ticket away, they should accept that responsibility. People will sue for about anything these days. It’s called tough bananas……

Anonymous June 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM

That’s on them. They shouldn’t have been so quick to toss the ticket away. Besides, they should have read the date! Idiots.

little lotto June 26, 2014 at 12:16 PM

I think if they truly had a winning number then they are winners.
Cough it up Lotto!

Anon777 June 26, 2014 at 12:21 PM

I don’t think they should blame the Lotto website. Lots of info on the web is out of date or not true and it’s buyer beware to make sure you are viewing correct or factual information. I think maybe there might be other ways of being able to prove you had the winning numbers, but blaming the lotto website for your own stupidity is not right.

down and out June 26, 2014 at 12:23 PM

They might have had a case, but then I realized the date of the drawing was right next to the numbers on the website, which they should have checked.

ConcordMike June 26, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Depends if the Lottery website has a disclaimer regarding errors. A basic “NO” if they threw away the ticket. I keep all mine until the expiration date… just for reasons like this.

Concoredejet June 26, 2014 at 12:30 PM


The Closer June 26, 2014 at 12:32 PM

How can they prove they had the ticket? Anyone could say they had the winning ticket. Maybe if it could be traced to the vendor they might have a case. It would set a precedent where every week someone would claim to have lost it.

Class of 90 CVHS June 26, 2014 at 12:38 PM

I’m with @1

Antler June 26, 2014 at 12:44 PM

“Oh, yeah….I just remembered… that’s happened to me LOTS of times!!! Hang on while I figure out how much you guys owe me.”

anon June 26, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Nice try guys. Let’s see if somebody claims the prize. the lottery knows if there is a winning ticket and where it was bought at.

Mr. Pink June 26, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Unless they can prove they had the ticket, tough luck. Otherwise I had a winning ticket too.

The Professor June 26, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Where’s the proof? No winning ticket = no money for you. If they pay out or settle then every person in Newark will claim that they too threw away a winner. If these guys are truthful then I guess it’s an expensive learning experience.

Sacto Rob June 26, 2014 at 1:06 PM

They have no case. Anybody could claim what they are claiming.Courts rely on this thing called “evidence.” They got nothin’ but a weak tea story.

Concord Grape June 26, 2014 at 1:13 PM

and the dog ate my homework

No June 26, 2014 at 1:17 PM

It is standard practice in games (chess, checkers, Scrabble, etc.) that once you make a move and take your hand off your game piece, you can’t change your mind/move.

J. June 26, 2014 at 1:20 PM

If a winning ticket comes up missing they might have a case.

Antler June 26, 2014 at 1:46 PM

J. at #17….. But we’ll all just explain to them that “Cowellian was FIRST”!

Rob June 26, 2014 at 1:46 PM

1) Can they prove that they had the ticket?

If not then how can they have a case?

If they can then,

2) Are there any rules that specify when the site must be updated?

If there is a rule \ regulation that defines when the site must be updated and they did not update at that time then if they can prove they had the ticket sure – looks like someone did not follow the rules on the state’s side…

Horse n around June 26, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Too bad so sad.

Mr John June 26, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Wait… the same thing happened to me! I Aldo had winning numbers and didn’t know they failed to update them in… what state again?

Cowellian June 26, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Thank you Antler. That was my ticket, and I was just letting them hold it for me. I’m just waiting for them to get the money before I enforce my claim.

Sounds like June 26, 2014 at 3:29 PM

More legeslation is needed. Is Bonilla busy?

RanchgirlCA June 26, 2014 at 3:38 PM

So sorry, you lose.

RunnerDope June 26, 2014 at 3:53 PM

What if the lottery commission knows when and where the ticket was purchased and surveillance video shows the men purchasing a ticket at that time?

No ticket -- no laundry June 26, 2014 at 4:01 PM

I was standing in line to buy 5 quick picks in the Powerball. I told the clerk what I wanted and she printed the ticket, but I realized that I left my wallet in the car. So I dashed to my car to get my wallet and the clerk sold the ticket to the man in line behind me. When I came back, the clerk printed 5 more quick picks and gave me the new ticket when I gave her the $5. Later I saw on TV that the winning ticket had been sold at the Get In — Get Out market just a minute and a half before the ticket I had was printed. I’m planning to sue the market for theft and the man with the winning ticket for the receipt of stolen property. Did I mention that I’m from a Parallel Universe?

Jose June 26, 2014 at 4:48 PM

No Ticket, No Win. No Brainer.

Rules state must have valid ticket to claim prize.

Constant Reader June 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Let them go to the garbage dump and sort through all the trash. Give them a week of time for this. If they find the ticket, they get the million. If not, they get a lifelong lesson in not throwing your lottery ticket away too soon.

Plus they stink like you wouldn’t believe.


Sid June 26, 2014 at 5:12 PM

No, they don’t have a case. It’s their own fault that they didn’t check the date on the website. I feel sorry for them, but they were careless and it cost them $1 million. Too bad.

Atticus Thraxx June 26, 2014 at 5:51 PM

There is absolutely nothing about the lottery I want anything to do with, including winning. So I ain’t gotta worry about stuff like this. Which is nice.

White Boy Fresh June 26, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Is this 4 real? If so then u don’t even no how many lotto tickets I have lost!!!!!!
Baseball rich baby!!!!!!!

Antler June 26, 2014 at 7:25 PM

#26…. Must say! You are running Cowellian a very close second!!! 😉

Marissa June 26, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Thanks in prayers. I haven’t been in the situation where I misplaced a winning ticket, but I can put my claim in. 🙂

Oh ya baby June 26, 2014 at 10:58 PM

I think Lotto is about to be busted for fraud!

The Mamba June 27, 2014 at 7:13 AM

If you can sue someone else for being stupid, our court system is going to be inundated.

dilligafman June 27, 2014 at 7:45 AM


Connie Dobbs June 27, 2014 at 8:48 AM


Barbie Dahl June 27, 2014 at 9:21 AM

They were so broke, they couldn’t even pay attention!

Mimi (original) June 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Those guys are idiots and don’t have a leg to stand on!

Idiots... June 28, 2014 at 7:59 AM

@38.. LOL.

No they should not get the money. Yes they paid for the ticket, and yes it was a winner…. But all of that doesn’t matter once it’s thrown away. It wasn’t accidentally thrown away by a maid, or a child. They consciously threw it away, because they saw no need for it. As I see it, loser weepers, and these two crybabies just lost a million dollars.

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