Liquor store clerk accused of trying to cash $3M lottery ticket left behind by customer

BROCKTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts liquor store clerk is accused of attempting to redeem a winning $3 million Mega Millions ticket that was left behind by a customer, prosecutors said Friday.

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Carly Nunes, 23, of Lakeville, was charged with one count of larceny from a building, attempted larceny, presenting a false claim and witness intimidation, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said in a news release. Joseph Reddem, 32, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was indicted on one count of attempted extortion, the prosecutor said.

Prosecutors said a man entered Savas Liquors in Lakeville on Jan. 17, 2023, and bought a bag of barbecue potato chips, two Mega Millions quick picks tickets and two Mass Cash tickets from the Massachusetts State Lottery, WFXT-TV reported.

Cruz said the man also added a multiplier to the Mega Millions game.

The man left the store but forgot to take his lottery tickets, WFXT reported.

The numbers the man selected for the Mega Millions ticket were announced as winners in the next drawing that night, according to the television station. The victim searched for his tickets to check his numbers, but when he could not find them he assumed they had been lost.

Two days later, Nunes and Reddem drove to lottery headquarters to claim the prize from the ticket, Cruz said. A customer service worker noticed the ticket was torn and burned but scanned it anyway, verifying that it was worth $3 million, WFXT reported.

The couple was caught on surveillance video arguing in the lobby of the headquarters, according to the television station. Cruz stated in his news release that an investigation revealed that Nunes allegedly told Reddem that she would only give him $200,000 from the winning ticket.

That prompted lottery officials to interview Nunes, who claimed that she accidentally ripped the ticket when she removed it from her purse. She added that the burn marks came when the ticket came in contact with a pipe.

Nunes allegedly told officials that she bought the ticket near the end of her shift on Jan. 17, but surveillance videos confirmed that the victim bought the ticket, Cruz said.

Nunes later said that she had “inadvertently obtained the winning ticket.”

The man who bought the winning ticket was found by authorities on Feb. 13, the news release stated. Massachusetts lottery officials said that they plan to honor his claim to the jackpot.

Nunes and Reddem will be arraigned for the indictments at a later date, Cruz said.