The Chester woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told Channel 9 that she bought a scratch-off card last month that has left her $500 richer.
In her excitement, the lucky lady started telling her acquaintances about her good fortune, including a man she considered trustworthy.
She got a phone call at work, put the winning scratch-off card down for a moment, and it was gone when she came back.
‘We looked and looked for it, and couldn’t find it,’ she said. ‘Luckily, I called the lottery so they could put a stop on it.’
In the frenzy that followed her win, the victim forgot to sign the back of the lottery card, which is a security step for a winning ticket. However, her quick phone call made all the difference.
A day later, sheriff’s deputies said a man and a woman showed up at Bob’s Food Mart in Richburg, South Carolina, and tried to cash in the winning ticket. It came up as stolen, and the pair left empty-handed.
The couple were captured on a surveillance video at the store, and a detective recognized them. They later told officials that they were only cashing in the ticket as a favor for a friend who told them his car had broken down.
Deputies said the man and woman had no idea the scratch-off card was stolen, and they are not facing charges.
They led deputies to 28-year-old Willie Jones, who has been charged with lottery fraud and ordered held on a $5,000 bond.
The defrauded victim said the experience has taught her a valuable lesson about how to act if she wins in a game of chance again.
‘I won’t show my ticket to anyone. I’m going to cash it in right there, instead of trying to save it up,’ she said.
The lottery commission is expected to grant the woman her winnings pending an investigation into the incident.