| A 35-year-old man from
Vacaville, California, was arrested on Monday, believed to have stolen a
lottery ticket worth $10m from his roommate. Adul Saosongyang was greeted by
Vacaville police as he attempted to collect the
from lottery officials.
As heists go, Saosongyangs was not the
most foolproof plan. On 20 December 2018, his roommate, whose identity has not
been revealed by police, went to a Lucky convenience store in Vacaville hoping
for some holiday good fortune and spent $30 on a scratch-off lottery ticket.
Against the odds, the ticket was a winner. The roommate had not played
close attention to the rules and jackpot but believed he was in line to win
around $10,000. He went home to share the good news with Saosongyang and their
The following morning, he headed to the closest
district office of the California state lottery in Sacramento, but when he
arrived he was told by officials that his ticket was worthless. Confused, the
man suspected his winning ticket had been swapped for a dud by one of his
roommates and reported the incident to the police.
The next day,
Saosongyang was in for a surprise of his own. Having purloined the ticket, he
had also traveled to Sacramento to claim his winnings. There he was told that
the ticket was not worth $10,000 but $10m.
The lottery office,
unaware of any untoward behaviour, began normal background checks and told
Saosongyang to return in a couple of weeks to collect his winnings. In the
process of their inquiries, they quickly discovered the ticket had been
After watching CCTV footage from the store where the
tickets were purchased, police and lottery investigators concluded that
Saosongyang had purchased a second ticket after finding out about the win, and
then swapped it with his roommates while he was asleep.
Saosongyang returned on 9 January, expecting to pick up his winning cheque, he
was instead met by local police, who arrested him on suspicion of grand theft
and took him to Scaramento county jail.
Presumably the original owner
of the ticket will now receive his prize, although this has yet to be confirmed
by the California state lottery. Saosongyang could serve up to three years in
The rightful winner wanted whom we can call LW, has asked local
authorities not to reveal his identity.
Saosongyang will appear in
court later this week. According to police, he was booked into Sacromento
County Jail, and he will be moved to a Solano County facility this week.
Records viewed by Law&Crime do not name an attorney in this