Do you completely trust the store cashier with your lottery ticket? Maybe you have already won a few hundred dollars or more.
Will the clerk give you the prize – or keep the ticket?
That’s exactly what happened at a Fort Myers store.
A customer entered a Winn-Dixie Liquors store to claim his winnings but the female clerk serving him was not honest enough.
Instead of giving him his full $600 prize, the clerk said that his lottery ticket was only worth $5.
After scanning the ticket, Crystelle Yvette Baton took out a $5 bill from her wallet and gave it to the man. She then kept the ticket for herself.
Baton, 42, believed she had gotten away with stealing the customer’s prize but she had no idea that her evil plan was about to crush her.
The customer returned inside and revealed his true identity. The man was actually an undercover agent working with the Florida Lottery Commission’s security division. His winning ticket was found hidden in her notebook.
The Lottery Commission makes random visits to stores to make sure the games are played right.
Winn-Dixie customer Nadina Puzic said to WBBH NBC2: “Anyone that is working in a customer service job, you think that they are doing what is in your best interest. I would be very upset if someone took that from me.”
A reader commented on the website and said the scam happens often. “This is much more common than you would think. I put my name on the back always, and always notice when the cashier checks the back before she determines whether it won something or not. A favorite trick, pretend to throw ticket away after telling someone they did not win anything, and then when they leave, pull it out of the trash and collect.”
Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie replied with a statement: “We are taking this matter very seriously as the trust and safety of our customers is our highest priority. The associate’s employment has been terminated.”
Baton was then charged with larceny grand theft, scheduled to appear in court and placed on a $5,000 bond.
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