Store Manager Steals Winning Ticket ...
Woman Stiffed By Store Manager Collects ...
Whitaker Can't Withdraw Plea ...
Chances Are Lottery Is A Waste of Your Money ...
Originally Posted: May 25, 2005
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Woman Alleges Store Manager Took Winning Lottery Ticket
A New Hampshire woman said she was ripped off this month when a convenience store owner allegedly cashed her winning lottery ticket. The store manager is now facing felony charges.
NewsCenter 5's Gail Huff reported that Elizabeth Gelarderes of Raymond, N.H., has been playing the same lottery numbers for years. Gelarderes said she bought a lottery ticket at a Richdale convenience store on Chickering Road in North Andover, Mass., earlier this month, playing the numbers she always plays. But she forgot to check the numbers that night and the next day she went back to the store and asked the store manager, Patrick Simboli, 45, to scan her "Cash Winfall" ticket.
According to police, Simboli scanned her ticket, told her she won $2 and then pocketed the ticket.
"It was confirmed by the Lottery Commission that he went down and cashed the ticket himself, taking out approximately $32,000 in cash, I believe," said North Andover police Sgt. Timothy Crane.
When Gelarderes, a teacher's aide at North Andover High School, saw the numbers she'd played on TV, she knew something was wrong.
"When she saw the numbers on the air, she knew what numbers she played because of specific reason she plays a number, and she knew she was a winner of five of the six numbers," Crane said.
Lottery officials have suspended the sales license of the store and Simboli is scheduled to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court May 25. He's facing felony charges that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Warning - Check Your Own Tickets!
Women stiffed by store clerk cashes in
Nearly two weeks after a North Andover store owner allegedly cashed in a customer's winning lottery ticket, state lottery officials yesterday presented the rightful winner with the $46,000 jackpot.
``I'm glad I won,'' Elizabeth Gelarderef said as officials handed her a check for $32,482.80, her winnings after taxes, at the Lottery Commission's Woburn office. ``I'm just sorry the way it happened.''
On May 9, the Raymond, N.H., woman stopped at Richdale Superette on Chickering Road on her way to work and bought a ``Cash Windfall'' ticket with the birth dates of two of her children.
The following day, she brought the ticket back to the store to see if she had won, and the owner, Richard Simboli, 45, allegedly took it and told her she had won a free bet. That evening, according to police, Simboli went to the Woburn lottery office and cashed in a ticket with the same numbers.
Now, his license to sell lottery tickets is suspended, and Simboli is due in Lawrence District Court Wednesday to face stolen property charges. Gelarderef, meanwhile, is mulling over how to spend her winnings on her five children and six grandchildren. ``I knew I'd won something,'' she said. ``I just never imagined how much.''
Warning - Check Your Own Tickets!
Whittaker Can't Withdraw Plea
A Putnam County judge ruled the Powerball winner's sentence for misdemeanor assault was lawful and just.
Story by The Associated Press
A Putnam County judge has refused to allow record Powerball winner Jack Whittaker to withdraw his no-contest plea to a misdemeanor assault charge.
With the December no contest plea in magistrate court, Whittaker did not admit guilt, but acknowledged there was enough evidence for a conviction.
Whittaker has argued that the punishment -- which required him to attend weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for two years -- was excessive.
He also said that when he entered his plea, he was under extreme emotional stress because of the disappearance of his granddaughter, who was later found dead.
In his ruling Monday, Circuit Judge O.C. Spaulding said he didn't have jurisdiction over a sentence handed down in magistrate court, and that the penalty was lawful and just.
Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia said the punishment was consistent with what is normally handed down in such cases.
The charge stemmed from an incident last year in which Whittaker was accused of assaulting and threatening the manager of a St. Albans bar.
A call to Whittaker's lawyer for comment was not immediately returned on Monday.
Chances are the lottery is a waste of your money
May 21, 2005
Among the myriad statistics in the latest Retirement Confidence Survey, this one caught my eye: Fourteen percent of Americans who are not saving anything for retirement play the lottery at least once a week. (Among those who save, 11% play that frequently.)
I confess to a bias on this subject. I have never played the lottery and never plan to. I can't see throwing my money away when a much better alternative - disciplined savings and investing - offers such a simple path to financial success.
Admittedly, spending a dollar or two on lottery tickets each week won't bankrupt you. It can even serve as cheap entertainment. The Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute did not ask workers how much they spend each week to play.
I also recognize that the money spent on lottery tickets - nearly $49 billion last year in the United States alone, according to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries - does some good. After subtracting for prizes and costs, the lotteries had about $14 billion to spend for public purposes.
Still, two aspects of the lottery bother me. First, the expenses hit hardest on the poor, who tend to spend a greater proportion of their income on lottery tickets.
Second, by offering the lure of instant riches, lotteries blind Americans to the simplest way to accumulate wealth: save and invest regularly, and let compound interest turn small sums into big ones. An often cited 1999 study by the Consumer Federation of America found that 27% of Americans believed that winning the lottery or sweepstakes offered the best chance to obtain half a million dollars or more in their lifetime. Fewer than half, or 47%, recognized that saving and investing regularly is the most reliable route to wealth.
No follow-up survey was done. But, said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the federation, "I can't imagine the numbers have changed that much." Most Americans don't grasp the enormous difference that a few dollars saved can make. To show how much this can add up, I asked Steve Norwitz, a vice president of the investment management firm T. Rowe Price, to calculate how much money somebody would have today if, instead of buying lottery tickets, he had put the money into a mutual fund.
"I think that's a good idea, to give people some concrete example of what they give up when going for a small chance of success" with the lottery, Norwitz told me. (To realize how small, see the entertaining Web site www.Webmath.com , which lets you calculate the odds of winning a lottery drawing. For the Lotto in Florida, where I live, it is 22,957,480 to 1.)
For this exercise, I assumed the lottery player spent about $20 a week since the beginning of the Florida lottery in January 1988. That's a fairly high number, but I know people who spend that much and more. (Today, with two Florida Lotto drawings a week, anybody playing all 10 panels on each playslip would be spending $20 a week.)
I then assumed that, instead of playing the lottery, an investor put $86.66 at the end of each month into one of two T. Rowe Price funds, Capital Appreciation or Equity Income. I chose those funds because they are fairly conservative and were around when the Florida lottery began. In addition, T. Rowe Price allows initial investments of as little as $50 a month, so it is actually possible to replicate this strategy. (Disclosure: I own shares of Capital Appreciation. This is not a recommendation to buy these funds. You need to do your own research.)
The results: As of the end of April, the $86.66 invested at the end of each month since January 1988 - a total of $18,025.28 - would have grown to $58,573.53 with Capital Appreciation and $52,060.50 with Equity Income.
Conclusion? "The lottery player would certainly give up a lot, unless they really got lucky and hit the number," Norwitz said. "Long term, investing may be the better way to go."
Send questions or comments to Humberto Cruz at AskHumberto@aol.com or c/o Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Buffalo, NY 14207. Personal replies are not possible.
Thank You San Antonio College Students For Explaining
175 million-to-one Mega Millions odds. WOW - what analogies
they came up with! Also included ...
What would your life be like if you won hundreds of millions of dollars?
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.
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.
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