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California man arrested for stealing roommate's $10m lottery ticket 10/01/19
Sam Wolfson
• Police believe Adul Saosongyang bought a second scratch-off ticket and swapped it with the winning one
 
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 jackpot from lottery officials.

As heists go, Saosongyang’s 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 other roommate.

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 reported stolen.

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 roommate’s while he was asleep.

When 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 prison.

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 matter.
 
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