VACAVILLE, Calif. – Police say a Northern California man stole a lottery scratcher worth $10 million from his roommate.
The Vacaville man who originally purchased the ticket on Dec. 20 at a Lucky grocery store said he bought it hoping to win some extra cash for the holidays, according to police.
The man won and thought at first that the ticket was worth $10,000, according to police. He then told his two roommates, one of whom allegedly stole the winning ticket and replaced it with a forgery, police told KTXL.
Investigators say the man went to collect his jackpot the next day and was told he was not a winner.
“And we had a discussion with him because he said, ‘No, I won. I saw I won $10,000 in this game.’ And he kind of told me some stuff,” said Russ Lopez with the California Lottery.
But the next day the real ticket surfaced when his roommate, identified as 35-year-old Adul Saosongyang, tried to turn in the winner. That’s also when Saosongyang learned the scratcher wasn’t a $10,000 winner and instead was a $10 million winner.
According to police, Vacaville detectives and the California Lottery investigator learned one of the man’s roommates went to the same Lucky store, purchased a similar ticket, altered it and swapped it with the winning ticket.
“One of his roommates goes to the same store, purchases the same ticket,” said Chris Polen with the Vacaville Police Department. “Later alters his losing ticket to match the winning ticket.”
Saosongyang went to collect his winnings on Monday in Sacramento but was instead greeted by Vacaville police officers.
Saosongyang was booked into jail on suspicion of grand theft.