Two store clerks are accused of trying to cash in a customer's $3 million winning lottery ticket after he left it behind.
A Massachusetts grand jury returned indictments for 23-year-old Carly Nunes and 32-year-old Joseph Reddem this month, according to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors say a man went into a liquor store on January 17 and purchased several items, including four lottery tickets. However, he reportedly left the lottery tickets in the tray at the store.
About 45 minutes later, another customer came into the store and purchased lottery tickets. Prosecutors say he told Nunes that there were extra tickets in the tray and returned them to her.
That evening, prosecutors say, the winning numbers were called and they matched the number on one of the tickets that was left behind.
Two days later, Reddem reportedly drove Nunes and her boyfriend to Massachusetts State Lottery Headquarters to collect the $3 million.
However, lottery officials began questioning whether Nunes was the rightful owner of the ticket after they overheard her arguing with Reddem.
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"Nunes and Reddem are seen on Lottery surveillance video arguing in the lobby," the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office stated in a press release. "Reddem allegedly made demands of the jackpot and Nunes informed Reddem that she would 'only pay him $200,000.'"
Investigators reportedly began probing how Nunes obtained the ticket. Prosecutors say she initially said that she purchased the ticket toward the end of her shift on Jan. 17.
After investigators reviewed surveillance video at the store, they say Nunes changed her story and said she "inadvertently obtained the winning ticket."
Nunes was not awarded the jackpot. Instead, she faces numerous charges including larceny and making a false claim. Reddem is charged with attempted extortion.
The prosecutor's office said the man who originally purchased the winning lottery ticket assumed he lost it. However, after a public campaign to find the man, he was located.
Officials say the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission intends to give the man his $3 million jackpot.
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