Man claims store owner stole his lottery winner

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Man claims store owner stole his lottery winner

A man belatedly found that he had won the grand prize in a lottery held four years ago. But he claims he was cheated out of his winnings by a storekeeper who promised to check the results, and is now pressing charges against the couple who allegedly swindled him out of 9.9 billion won ($8.8 million).

A 69-year-old Quick Service deliveryman went on a trip to Jeju Island four years ago in Aug. 2008 and bought two lottery tickets. Several days later, he returned to Seoul. Kim sought an acquaintance surnamed Lee, a supermarket owner in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul, to check if he had won anything and handed the lottery tickets to Lee. Right after, Kim had to make a delivery and when he returned to the store later that day to inquire about his lottery tickets, Lee sidestepped the issue and didn’t return the tickets.

Every time Kim visited the store afterwards, Lee and his wife pretended to be indifferent and changed the subject. Kim had particular difficulty checking if he had won because he didn’t know how to use a computer, so he could not check results on the Internet. He eventually gave up, thinking, “I’ll consider the ticket a loss.”

But after four years, in January 2012, Kim’s daughter heard about his lottery woes and checked on the Internet. To their surprise, the Aug. 16, 2008 lottery first place ticket was identified to have come from the Jeju supermarket where Kim purchased his ticket.

The prize money was a whopping 9.9 billion won. Kim sought out the Seoul Central District Court on March 2 and filed a suit against Lee and his wife, claiming they “knew the fact that the lottery ticket won first place but willfully neglected to return it.” He requested at least a fraction of the amount he had rightfully won.


By Koo Hui-yung, Son Kook-hee [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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