Man arrested after ‘stealing $500 winning lottery ticket from a FRIEND’

A South Carolina woman has learned the hard  way that with some friends, you don’t need enemies after one of her pals has  been charged with stealing her winning lottery ticket.

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.

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