Eight Sad but True Winners Stories

Powerball winner found days after death
Million dollar lottery winning causes family tensions
Lottery shop shortchanges winner bigtime
Ripped-off lottery winner is a Mexican
Lottery winner charged in theft
Lottery winner cries foul
Caller claims to be recent lottery winner
Stop begging, says lottery winner

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Originally Posted: Nov 27, 2005

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Powerball winner found days after death


NEWPORT, Ky. -- A woman who won a $65.4 million Powerball jackpot with her husband five years ago was found dead at her home overlooking the Ohio River, where she had apparently been for days before anyone found her, police said.

Virginia Metcalf Merida's son discovered her body Wednesday. Police were awaiting autopsy and toxicology results before announcing a cause of death.

When the woman and her husband, Mack Wayne Metcalf, won the jackpot, they told lottery officials they were going their separate ways to fulfill their dreams. Merida planned to quit her job making corrugated boxes and buy a home. Metcalf, a forklift operator, wanted to start fresh in Australia. He never did.

Metcalf died in 2003 at age 45 while living in a replica of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate built in Corbin, Ky. His death followed multiple run-ins with the law, including a child-support dispute from a previous marriage and a drunken driving charge filed before he hit the jackpot.

Neighbors said Merida stayed out of public view until last December, when a body was found in her 5,000-square foot, custom-built geodesic dome house. Campbell County Deputy Coroner Al Garnick confirmed that the man died of a drug overdose. Official records of the case were unavailable because of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Merida used part of her winnings to buy a second home, but when she tried to evict the resident, the renter sued. A hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.

Carol Terrell Lawson, who is still renting the home, said that she never met Merida in person and only learned of the death after reporters began calling her.

Million dollar lottery winning causes family tensions

WPRI - November 21, 2005

WORCESTER, Mass. A one million dollar lottery scratch ticket is causing tension in a Worcester family.

The 83-year-old man who bought the ticket and then turned it over to his son to manage the winnings, was granted a temporary restraining order in court last week, preventing the son from spending any of the money.

The younger man, Thai Nguyen, convinced his father, Thien Minh Luu, that he should manage the winnings because he is more business-savvy and has better command of English, according to the suit.

The son took the endorsed ticket to the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission office in Braintree, received the first of 20 annual 50-thousand dollar installments, and deposited the money into his own bank accounts.

The son then allegedly refused his father's repeated requests for the money.

Lottery shop shortchanges winner bigtime

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- A New Zealand lottery winner who double-checked his jackpot found he had been shortchanged thousands of dollars by a storeowner.

TVNZ reports the owner of a Lotto shop in Kapiti Coast told the man he had won $642 New Zealand ($440 U.S.). It turns out when the lucky winner checked with the Lottery Commission the actual payoff on his $6 ticket was 50 times that amount, or about $20,000 U.S. dollars.

The commission said Lotto shops are required to have computer screens visible to customers and to return winning tickets to their owners.

The Lotto shop owner is no longer in business and is scheduled to appear in court next week.

Ripped-off lottery winner is a Mexican
Clerk at Nogales Circle K allegedly cheated Sonoran out of $1.5 million

10:12 AM MST on Friday, November 11, 2005
By Lourdes Medrano / Arizona Daily Star

The mystery of the unknown lottery winner who was cheated out of his lucky ticket at a Nogales Circle K over the summer is over.

A Nogales, Sonora, man has stepped forward as the rightful owner of a Pick ticket worth nearly $1.5 million that authorities said a store clerk had falsely claimed as her own.

The millionaire, Cuauhtémoc Jose Luis Castañeda Yánez, couldn't be reached Thursday. His Tucson attorney, Eugene Goldsmith, wouldn't comment.

Lottery officials positively identified Castañeda as the winner through videotapes, computer data transactions and witness interviews, said Andrea Esquer, a spokeswoman for the state Attorney General's Office.

"He'll get his money probably in the next two weeks," she said.

In mid-August, authorities seized more than $1 million - the lottery payout after taxes -from Circle K store clerk Delia Kerr, who had validated Castañeda's ticket June 26, the day after the drawing.

Kerr took Castañeda's ticket and did not return it, according to Arizona Lottery investigators. He complained to Circle K Corp. employees that the clerk had kept his ticket, but the company could not substantiate the allegations, authorities said. But rumors about Kerr's newfound riches followed her, and investigators later traced the money to her bank account in Tucson.

Kerr, 50, who lives in Rio Rico, was arrested Aug. 15 in Nogales on suspicion of fraud and theft and released. Her sister, Susan Kerr, 41, of Nogales, cashed in the ticket in July, according to court documents. She was not arrested due to a physical ailment.

Santa Cruz County Attorney George Silva said Castañeda's presence will give impetus to the prosecution's case.

"A crucial piece for us to put this case together is an interview with the victim," he said.

"As far as I'm concerned, he's the missing link."

Lottery winner charged in theft

MEDFORD, Ore. - A woman bought a winning lottery ticket worth $1 million with a stolen credit card and will wind up with nothing if convicted, police said.

Christina Goodenow, 38, of southern Oregon, faced theft-related charges, forgery and possession of methamphetamine. The card belonged to her deceased mother-in-law, police said.

If convicted of any of the charges, Goodenow will not be able to collect the money, said Lt. Tim George.

Goodenow collected the first $33,500 installment on Oct. 12. Authorities said they found meth at her home, but not the $33,500.

Lottery winner cries foul
Stafford County man charged with taking acquaintance's lottery
winnings and depositing them into his own account

Date published: 10/29/2005

A Stafford County man is accused of taking $14,090 in lottery winnings from a dementia patient, then telling him he never won.

John Edward Johnson, a 53-year-old man court papers list as a reverend, was charged this month with felony embezzlement and obtaining money by false pretenses. He's free on bond.

Police describe the victim, Larry C. Barbour, as a semi-homeless man who won the Virginia Lottery on Aug. 25. According to a search warrant affidavit, Barbour told Johnson about his luck.

Johnson invited Barbour to live with him at a home on Raintree Boulevard in Stafford, said he'd help with the man's finances and deposited the lottery check into his own bank account, according to the affidavit.

When the check cleared Aug. 30, according to the affidavit, Johnson booted Barbour and kept the lottery winnings. Barbour told investigators that Johnson said he'd never won the lottery and it was in his imagination.

Johnson also took Barbour to the Social Security Administration to have himself designated as Barbour's representative payee, according to the affidavit.

Stafford detectives say they have learned that Barbour did in fact win the lottery and that the money was deposited into Johnson's account.

Barbour reported the situation to the Sheriff's Office on Sept. 16, and Johnson was arrested less than three weeks later.

The status of the winnings was not available last night.

According to Virginia court records, Johnson was convicted of misdemeanor embezzlement earlier this year and was sentenced to serve two days in jail.

That incident stemmed from a theft valued at less than $200 at Shoppers Food Warehouse in Stafford, said Capt. Billy Bowler, commander of the county's criminal investigations division.

Johnson hasn't had a preliminary hearing yet on the most recent two charges, according to court records.

It is not clear which, if any, church Johnson is affiliated with.

To reach BILL FREEHLING: 540/374-5424 bfreehling@freelancestar.com

Caller claims to be recent lottery winner

Article Published: 10/22/05, 2:55 am

Pat Fossum, who recently won $1 million with a Powerball lottery ticket, said she has no idea who is making calls to Lennox residents and claiming to be her.

People in Lennox have received calls from a person claiming to be the new millionaire and are told they have been chosen at random to be given $1,000 if they meet her at a selected time and place.

People who receive such calls are instructed to call the police.

Stop begging, says lottery winner
12 October 2005

A week after his astonishing Spanish Lottery win was exclusively revealed in the G&A, a Combe Martin multi-millionaire is praying for the furore to die down.

Bill Potter, 60, appeared in the national newspapers and on television after news of the £11.738 million jackpot he scooped through the European Lottery Guild became public.

Two national tabloids even carried full and half-page adverts from the company picturing Bill with a cheque for 17 million Euros and encouraging more punters to sign up.

But now the retired builder and devoted Ilfracombe Town FC fan - who won after reinvesting £11,000 from a previous ELG lottery win - is hoping his 15 minutes of fame will be short lived and he can return to a normal life.

"I have been back watching Ilfracombe Town play, watching the reserves - they lost - everything else is getting back to normal," he told the G&A.

"I would like to say this: I've had begging letters arrive since it happened.

"I state now that I have never begged for anything in my entire life. I've had hard times, I've had bad times, and I have never begged from anybody, so please no begging letters, because they are going to go straight in the green bin.

Links to all winners stories found on LottoReport web site, Click here

Texas Lottery Denies Cheating Lotto Texas Winners
But excerpts from Commission Meetings refutes the TLC claims
of innocence. The complete story including a winners complaint letter
to the DA. (Special note to those winners who called inquiring about
the way you were paid - your suspicions. I've included a spreadsheet
that includes the rate that was applicable at the time of your win
so you can now figure out if you received your full amount.
) Click here.

What is Problem Gambling? Click here.

Real Life Examples of Gambling Related Crime and Corruption. Click here.

Sad but True Winners Stories (1), Click here

Read story about a Texas $31 million winner
who committed suicide (1999). Click here.

Sad but True Winners Stories (AOL), Click here.

One Winner - One Loser - What a story.
Everyone should read this one.
Three other stories
include an interview with a winner, a news story
regarding the Oct 13 Lotto Texas machine malfunction
and the huge sales decline for New York's in state
Lotto game since joining MM.
Click here.

Store Owners and Employees Admit Stealing
$100,000 Powerball Ticket ...
Don't let this happen
to you. Click here.

Canada Has A Gambling Problem. And so will Texas.
Governments hooked on gambling. Here's WHY we need to oppose
expanded gambling in Texas and why the TLC turns me OFF.
Click here

About that 2005 Texas Lottery Demographics Study.
See what the "real" truth was! A Texas Tech Study. Click here.

Thank You Dallas Morning News ... Their study of lottery sales
by districts confirms who really plays the games of Texas. Click here.

Just point and click ...

The Lotto Report
Dawn Nettles
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Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 686-0660
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