Indiana Lottery Winner Paid $500K Prize After Store Clerk Ripped Up Ticket

Posted on: December 13, 2023, 02:44h. 

Last updated on: December 16, 2023, 11:47h.

An Indiana man who won $500K on the Hoosier Lottery will get his payday, even though his ticket was shredded in front of his eyes by an inattentive store clerk, as first reported by The Lottery Post.

Hoosier Lottery
Paul Marshall will receive his $500K prize from the Indiana lottery after a clerk mistakenly tore up his winning ticket. (Image: WBAA)

At a meeting of the Hoosier Lottery Commission in Indianapolis earlier this month, officials voted to honor the prize for state resident Paul Marshall.

Marshall was naturally delighted with his life-changing Powerball win and quickly returned with the precious ticket to the store where he had purchased it so it could be validated.

The store checked and confirmed his ticket. But since lottery retailers cannot pay out wins of more than $600, Marshall was given a printed slip with instructions to visit a claim office. The store clerk ripped the ticket and threw it in the trash.

It was muscle memory, according to the lottery commission. The clerk was so used to dealing with losing tickets that he threw it away out of habit.

Piecing Together the Story

When Marshall arrived at the claim center, he presented lottery officials with written instructions but no winning ticket, and they refused to pay.

This was a fortunate event, where we were able to reconstruct what happened,” Lottery Director of Legal Affairs and Compliance Chuck Taylor said of the commission’s 5-0 vote to pay out.

Lottery officials could visit the retail outlet and view video footage confirming Marshall’s story.

Facebook Flex

Another claimant whose case was addressed at the same meeting was not so lucky, according to The Lottery Post.

When Drena Harris won $500 on a scratch-off ticket, she was thrilled to post a photo of the ticket on her Facebook account. But when she went to claim the prize, she found that it had already been cashed out by one of her followers.

The unknown scammer used the image of the ticket to deceive a store clerk to pay out the prize, which proved easy enough to do because it was under the $600 threshold.

The retail outlet was at fault and shouldn’t have paid without the physical winning ticket. By the time Harris filed her case with the lottery commission, the outlet had gone out of business, and no evidence of the fraudulent transaction remained.

“It’s not a decision that we enjoy, but we can’t pay something twice,” Taylor said.

A cautionary tale about the dangers of bragging on social media, if ever there was one.