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Man thought he'd won $500,000 jackpot but lottery refused to pay him

Man thought he'd won $500,000 jackpot but lottery refused to pay him

The retiree couldn't believe it when he was told he hadn't actually won anything

A man thought he'd won a mega $500,000 (£390,400) jackpot, but the lottery refused to pay up.

John Wines from New Mexico, US, was sure he'd won big when he was told his huge prize basically just didn't exist.

Wines bought a $20 (£15) scratch card from a local petrol station and when he scraped off the silver, he was absolutely made up.

His ticket appeared to show two $250,0000 (£195,050) prizes, a $75 (£58) reward and another one for $50 (£39) - he was sure he'd smashed it.

But when the retired air conditioning technician took it to the clerk to scan in, he was left even more gobsmacked after being told it was 'not a winner'.

Wines told Fox News: “She scanned it in the machine and told me it isn’t a winner. I couldn’t believe it.”

John was sure he'd won big time on his scratch card.

Determined to get his dollar, he went to the parent company of the scratch cards but they said the same thing. Apparently, the card was actually defective, as its serial number wasn't legit.

John contacted the lottery company, who said: “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.”

Wines' lawyer at the time, Sam Bregman, was determined the ticket was a winner, but officials were claiming there was more than one misprint error on the ticket.

He told ABC News: "We believe the statute is very clear, that the game is about matching numbers. He matched those numbers. They need to pay, or basically they are cheaters."

The lawyer stressed just how important these kind of problems don't happen again: "You get so high when you’re thinking you’re winning that kind of money, and then, of course, he gets so low, once you find out the lottery won’t make good on their terms."

John wanted to sue the company for the jackpot he thought he'd won.

Wines wanted to sue the New Mexico Lottery for the amount he'd been led to believe he won (half a million dollars) and spoke to NBC affiliate KOB about the ordeal in late 2014.

He said: “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.”

He admitted he wouldn't even be 'thinking' about any of it if the price had been $50 (£39) or $70 (£58) but added: "I bought the ticket in good faith thinking if I won I was going to get my money."

Wines wanted to keep at this mission to get the jackpot, but his wife was 'insisting' he just let it go.

To make up for their error, he was offered $100 (£78) in scratch cards by the company.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/KRQE / NBC News

Topics: Gambling, US News, Money