When you buy a lottery ticket, you take a chance. Sure, we all know that it’s very unlikely that you will win but there is that small chance you could catch a big break. It’s a chance that is hard to resist, but many people may not realize is that if you win, you may also be taking a chance when you hand over a winning ticket at the place where you buy it. What if the store clerk isn’t honest?
One store clerk in Fort Myers, Crystelle Yvette Baton, 42, was hoping a winning lottery ticket winner would take that chance on her. A man stepped up to the counter at Winn Dixie to present her with a winning ticket. When Baton looked at the numbers, she scanned it and realized the prize was worth $600. However, Baton decided that this was her lucky day, not her customers. She lied and told her customer that the payout was only five bucks.
So many matches, so little time. REPLY your best $2 Scratch-Off rhyme! pic.twitter.com/aVTTj3HJ9p
— Florida Lottery (@floridalottery) April 13, 2019
Reaching into her own pocketbook, she took out a five and gave it to the man so it wouldn’t appear on the books. Then she put the winning ticket securely in her notebook. Later on, she would pocket that cash herself, she thought to herself.
What the deceiving store clerk didn’t realize is that this was far from her lucky day. That customer she tried to scam was no ordinary customer, and he knew the value of that “winning ticket” very well. He was an undercover agent conducting an integrity investigation by the Florida Lottery Commission’s securities division. Baton was busted cold.
The agent returned to the store and the cashier was arrested. There hidden in Baton’s notebook they found the lottery ticket. She was charged with larceny grand theft on January 22, 2018. Rather than going home with a windfall of cash, she had to pay a $5,000 bond instead. But that wasn’t her only problem…