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03rd Jul 2023

Rightful winner of £2.4m lottery finally able to claim prize six months after ticket was stolen

Charlie Herbert

Two shop workers had tried to cash in the winnings themselves

A man who purchased a lottery ticket half a year ago is finally able to claim his millions after the ticket was stolen by two shop workers.

Paul Little, from Massachusetts, went into the Lakeville Market & Liquors on January 17 and purchased two Mega Millions Quick Picks and two Mass Cash tickets, while also adding a multiplier to increase his chances of bagging some big bucks.

But, after his shopping was scanned and paid for, he left the ticket behind according to Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office.

He concluded he had lost the ticket, but in fact Carly Nunes, the shop worker who had printed off the ticket and scanned Little’s shopping, and her colleague Joseph Reddem had nabbed it.

When a customer had come in after Little and ordered five tickets, Nunes noticed there were seven in the terminal tray, and that these two had been left behind by him.

That night, the numbers on Little’s ticket came up, winning $3 million. Two days laters, Nunes and Reddem went to try and cash it in at the local lottery headquarters.

The ticket had burn marks on it and was torn up, which initially raised the suspicions of the clerks.

Surveillance footage proved it was Little who had originally purchased the ticket (CBS Boston)

But, it was only when Nunes and Reddem were seen on surveillance in the building arguing that official questioned their claim to the ticket.

Reddem allegedly made extortion demands of the jackpot and Nunes informed Reddem that she would “only pay him $200,000.”

Nunes claimed she purchased the ticket, and that she mistakenly tore the ticket when removing it from her wallet and the burn marks were the result of her accidentally placing the ticket on a pipe.

But surveillance footage from the store showed Little buying the ticket, and when Nunes was interviewed further she admitted to not purchasing the ticket herself.

Lottery officials then worked to try and locate Little and return to the ticket to him, putting up posters around town and asking locals whether they knew him, CBS News reports.

Eventually, almost a month after he bought the ticket, Little was located and interviewed by investigators

And, on Friday (June 30), Little was finally able to claim his $3 million. He said he planned to spend the money on paying off his mortgage and would donate some of it to charity.

Paul Little was finally able to claim his millions last month (Massachusetts Lottery)

“I’ve got to say, I’m pretty excited today because it’s real today with the check in hand,” he told press at the local lottery headquarters.

He continued: “It really gave me a greater appreciation for what the Mass Lottery does as far as making sure the rightful people get the award.

“I can’t say enough for all the people who helped me get to this point.”

Nunes pleaded not guilty to charges to cash in the winnings. She is being held on a $10,000 bail on charges of larceny from a building and attempted larceny, while also being charged presentation of a false claim and witness intimidation.

Meanwhile, Reddem pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted extortion, according to the district attorney’s office – and has been allowed to go free.

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