$500,000 scratch-off 'winner' told ticket was 'misprint'

John Wines was offered $100 in tickets as compensation from the New Mexico Lottery.

By Ben Hooper
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ROSWELL, N.M., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A New Mexico man said his elation at winning more than $500,000 from a lottery scratch-off ticket turned to disappointment when he learned it was a misprint.

John Wines, a recent retiree from Roswell, said he bought the scratch-off in December from a local Shell station and he scratched the ticket to reveal five winning numbers, two of which were each worth $250,000.


Wines said he took the ticket -- which has a stated maximum prize of $250,000 -- back to the gas station to show how he had somehow managed to win more than $500,000.

"I took it back in and she told me that is not a winner," Wines told KOB-TV. "They told me that it was a misprint and they don't pay off for misprints."

Wines contacted officials with the New Mexico Lottery and received a reply via email.

"We did find a flaw in that particular pack of tickets and it's been reported to our printer. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I did complete a reconstruction of your ticket and it was not a winner," the email read.


Wines said he was crushed by the news.

"If it was $50 or $75, I would not think a thing about it," he said. "But this is $500,000. That's a half million."

"It's like I told them, I didn't misprint it. I bought the ticket in good faith thinking if I won I was going to get my money. And they told me no, they absolutely, positively told me no."

The New Mexico Lottery offered Wines $100 worth of tickets as compensation.

Wines said his wife, Maria, who once won $100,000 from the Indiana Lottery, told him to put the incident behind him.

"She told me to forget it," he told Fox News. "She said they're never going to pay me."

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