It has been reported by officials in Massachusetts that a bewildering case of theft involving a winning lottery ticket worth $3 million has resulted in charges for a woman and her partner. Carly Nunes, 23, who was working as a cashier at a liquor store in Lakeville, has been accused of pilfering a customer’s lottery tickets back in January, which she held onto while the purchaser inadvertently left them behind. US District Attorney Timothy Cruz alleged that the man “forgot” them in the lottery terminal tray. Surveillance footage revealed that another customer pointed out the forgotten tickets to Nunes, who subsequently took them and kept them behind the counter.
Cruz stated that the man had looked for his ticket to double-check it, but when he couldn’t find it, he abandoned the search. That same night, the numbers on one of his Mass Millions tickets came up in the draw, awarding the lucky player a $3 million jackpot. However, the ticket was nowhere to be found until Nunes and her boyfriend and coworker, Joseph Reddem, 32, from Manchester, New Hampshire, allegedly tried to cash it in at the Massachusetts State Lottery headquarters a few days later.
According to Cruz, lottery employees initially confirmed the numbers on the ticket but became suspicious when they overheard Nunes and Reddem arguing over how to divide the prize money. The ticket itself was also damaged and burned, with Nunes claiming she had mistakenly harmed it while removing it from her wallet and burning it by accident when she put it on a pipe. Under investigation, Nunes first claimed that she purchased the winning ticket near the end of her shift on the day it was sold. But after authorities saw surveillance footage of a customer purchasing the ticket, Cruz stated that Nunes changed her account and said she had “inadvertently obtained the winning ticket.”
Nunes has been charged with multiple counts of theft, attempted theft, false claim presentation, and witness intimidation, while Reddem has been charged with attempted extortion. Detectives eventually found the man who bought the winning ticket nearly a month later, and according to Cruz, the man had no idea of his costly blunder. The Massachusetts State Lottery Commission plans to honor the victim’s $3 million ticket, according to Cruz.