Man Told $500,000 Winning Lottery Ticket a ‘Misprint’

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ROSWELL, New Mexico -- A New Mexico man who thought he won big with a scratch card has been told it was a misprint.

In December, John Wines bought a scratch-off lottery ticket at a gas station in Roswell, New Mexico.

As John started scratching, he came across not 1,2,3 or 4 - but 5 winning numbers, totaling over $500,000. However, the maximum prize for the ticket is $250,000.

NC_lottomisprint0105_1500x845“There’s one right here for $250,000,” said Wines. “Right below that is another one and it’s a $250,000 winner.”

John thought he hit the big one, but he says when he went to the gas station to get his money, it didn’t work.

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

John says he contacted the New Mexico Lottery who replied in an email saying, “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.”

John disagrees.

“I mean, if you thought you won $500,000 and somebody tells you that you didn’t, and you can prove to them you did, it’s pretty stressful for somebody to say, ‘no you’re not getting your money,'” said Wines. “If it was $50 or $75, I would not think a thing about it. But this is $500,000. That’s a half million.”

According to KOB, the New Mexico Lottery offered him $100 in lottery tickets.



  • Scootiep

    Normally, I think the “sue everybody” mentality is a bit ridiculous in this country. But in the case of lottery crooks, er I mean administration, I say sue the heck out of them. Even if it is a “misprint” as they claim, they should still be forced to honor at least a part of it. Lotteries only line the pockets of those who run them anyway, I know, I used to audit them. Trust me, they can afford it.

  • jennifer

    That is just plain ridiculous. Can you imagine how excited the guy was that he won all this money…only to be told “Sorry. Our bad.”

    • jennifer

      I just saw the tickets were purchased in Roswell, New Mexico. I am sure they will blame it on the aliens.

  • Terri

    I AGREE!! When a store doesn’t take down a “sale” sign, they are obligated to honor the item at that price. THEY (the store) messed up! Same for lottery. THEY messed up! Honor it and “recall” the rest! GEEESSSHH! Going forward, why would we even think of buying one of your tickets when there is even a small chance of you taking a winning ticket and saying to me “ooopps, sorry, misprint, my bad”!! REALLY!!?? If this isn’t made right, it will be a rippling effect across the nation….and guess what!??.. the LOTTERY WILL LOSE….how ironic is that!!??

  • Terry Johnson

    fire the person who runs the lottery in that state and sue the state for bad faith and get multiples of that original 250k – fraud is fraud and if they already contacted the printer why not recall the tickets?

    • jennifer

      I agree. There is no need to hire a lawyer. I am sure they have their backs covered. I just think it really stinks to think you won all this money, only to be told it was a misprint. $100 in tickets is better than nothing.

  • Beverly Caraccio

    I would say get alaywers advise on the situation if they were offering 100.00 in tickets then they know that they are pretty much in the wrong.

  • John Smith

    I reckon if organized crime still ran the numbers racket, they would have paid off the bettor. It would be the printer who was done for.

  • Pete Turner

    This ticket was not, is not now, and will never be a WINNER. The guy is not being denied his rightful prize because of a misprint. The ticket is clearly not a winner at all, so no prize was ever going to be won with it. The abbreviations below where the misprinted numbers should appear definitely indicate what the missing numbers should have been. And they are not winning numbers. Please stop encouraging the poor guy to engage a lawyer. That will be another guaranteed loser. His best next step is to accept the “good-faith, no admission of guilt” offer of $100 in lottery tickets. That way he comes out ahead on this. And you never know what might happen next…

    • Eric Simon

      Thank you!!! I was about to point out this same thing. Anyone who has played a scratch off ticket or worked somewhere that sells them could tell this is not a winner based on the abbreviations. That is why they have them.

  • John

    Lottery should offer 25K as settlement as they can afford it; I’m sure this retiree would take it and shut up over going through legal hassles and spending years in court to maybe get nothing…

  • carlos

    Sue? Come on people. Look at the ticket. It clearly shows there was some sort of misprint next to the 1’s. Ok sure, try your luck and see if you can actually collect but take a closer look at the codes under the number. It’s a backup to the number. It clearly states the numbers are supposed to be 18 & 12. Not to mention the top prize is 250k, not half a mill. He has no case and he knows this and he should have known to just let it go when the cashier told him it wasn’t a winner.

  • mike

    You can tell its a misprint. you can see part of the 8 and the 2. and the numbers below it start with an E and T. I feel bad for him thinking it was winner, but if you look at it……

  • Dan Meyers

    Can you read buddy?

    “Liability for void, altered or misprinted tickets or disputes, if any, is limited to the refund of the retail sales price.”

    Do you think they are wasting their ink printing this on every ticket for giggles? Think of how much ink and wear it puts on the printers to place this disclaimer on every ticket? The state is making a real investment into informing you that misprinted tickets will not be paid.

    How much clearer can something be?

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