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Report: Clerk at Roslindale market tried taking half a woman's lottery winnings

WCVB reports a clerk at Roslindale Food Mart on Washington Street in Roslindale told a woman she'd won $500 on a lottery ticket - but that the ticket was actually for $1,000, so he apparently pocketed the rest. The clerk has been fired. Todesca's, another market, is across a side street from Roslindale Food Mart, for what it's worth.


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Sad on many levels. Glad the clerk got caught.

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Is fantastic. And, I’d be really surprised if the folks there pulled similar shenanigans.

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I saw this last night on WCVB. Sad... and that clerk.

Makes me wonder if they did this to other people. Often its not just once.

Kathy (reporter) makes two excellent points:

Always take a picture of your ticket (front & back)
and scan for yourself using the App

And a third I'll add from MassLottery.com.. SIGN your ticket. It claims ownership.

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Any time I won on a ticket for more than $600, those were the first things I did (sign the ticket and take photocopies) so when I got my W-2G, I can staple it on there for my records.

Stores that do this to people could possibly (and often do) lose their lottery licenses because employees or owners get greedy. The Lottery doesn't take theft and fraud lightly, and they are not shy in coming to a store, nullifying all the tickets, and removing the ticket machines, scratch tickets and the betting slips because someone tried to pull a fast one on an unsuspecting customer.

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Don’t claim any lottery winnings under about 10k for your average Bostonian. I’m sure you lose as much through the year to balance it out (FYI the IRS doesn’t look at Keno/lottery/horse race receipts). The state is going to make you pay taxes on pretty much all winnings over $600 but the feds don’t get involved until you win 10k I believe.

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Another tax tip: Don’t cheat. Whether it’s at the poker table, or in sports, or in business, or anyplace else: nobody likes a cheater.

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It’s your money. Most people lose more than they win in their lifetime. If you win a keno prize under 5k they feds aren’t going to blink an eye. If it’s the first and only time you’ve ever gambled and feel guilty? Sure go ahead and write the Feds a check for $1,200. If you go to Foxwoods a few times a year and lose $500-$2,000 like most gambling winners and losers…? Then give the feds a good guess on how much you gamble a year. If they don’t care (which they don’t) then neither should you.

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It used to be that you paid no taxes at all under $5,000 until 2004, but you must declare your winnings to the IRS and the state because they want to make sure you don't owe unpaid taxes, alimony or child support, because if you do, your winnings are taken to offset your debts.

For lottery winnings between $601 to $5,000, you do not have to have Federal taxes withheld, but Massachusetts will withhold 5% of your winnings. Anything above that requires 5% MA withholding plus another 24% Federal withholding, bringing the total withholding to 29%.

The short of it - you don't leave the lottery offices with a check until they withhold taxes, and if you're in arrears to the state or the Feds, they take most or all of the winnings.

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Or require you to fill out tax forms for anything under 6k (at least in my experience with Mass lottery).

Estimate on what you lose and don’t be a sucker. That’s all I’m saying.

Edit: it is 5k like you mentioned. I’m saying you better have some people who can vouch for you gambling more than that, because the IRS cares about more than that more than receipts.

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hold the faintest hope of ever having to consider this advice, but...

You may not want to sign the winning ticket for a huge jackpot right away. That preserves the option of consigning it to a trustee like a reputable lawyer or private banker. With such help, you could collect your winnings while also protecting your privacy against the swarm of violent criminals, petty grifters, and other assorted vultures that would inevitably descend upon you and your family were your name and the prize to become publicly linked. Google "Whitey Bulger and Michael Linskey" for one notorious example.

I wouldn't want my black-sheep second cousin Frankie to ever know about my suddenly coming into wealth, for example. That dude is a bad egg, a wrong number. He's the kind of guy who when he crashes a family reunion prompts all the women to move their purses closer to hand. Glad he lives way out west, the likely felon: a charming, dessicated rogue with a coal-black heart.

I'm sure there are caveats here, like maybe being required to publicly appear to promote the lottery, etc. I'm no lawyer. Just something to consider if you ever hit it big. Rent a safe deposit box, keep your mouth clamped firmly shut, and mull your options before you sign.

Financial windfalls have a funny way of ruining peoples' lives. I can think of few better ways to invite that kind of calamity than letting random strangers know about your sudden good fortune. Things will get twisty enough with the people you know and love.

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Trusts are very common, very wise, and often used to keep the winner's privacy. The trustee claims the ticket, appears in front of the cameras representing the trust, and the check goes to the trust.

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...they're not really all that safe. They're not insured and banks somehow "lose" contents of the boxes periodically. I guess it's a decent option for storing important documents in case your house burns down, but I wouldn't necessarily trust them for items of particular value.

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What are better alternatives? Not that I plan on winning the lottery anytime soon, but I do keep some things in a safe deposit box currently and haven't thought about alternatives, so just curious.

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