Problems with winning $4 Powerball ticket -

Problems with winning $4 Powerball ticket

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

If you have ever bought a lottery ticket this is a story you want to hear.

A St. Louis County woman had a winning Powerball ticket, but a clerk told her it was trash.

What happened next even has the Missouri Lottery wondering went wrong with the winning ticket. 

News 4 Investigative Reporter Chris Nagus had to take the ticket to Jefferson City to sort out this bizarre situation.

Susan Murphy will be the first to tell you, it's not about the money. After all, this ticket from the Christmas Day drawing was only worth four bucks.

She matched the Powerball plus one number, but when she checked the ticket, the card machine said “sorry not a winner”.

“I have no idea what's going on but I'd like to know,” said Murphy. 

Murphy says she went home and checked the ticket online and found out it was a winner, so she took it to more stores, and got the same result.

News 4’s Chris Nagus headed to the Missouri Lottery headquarters in Jefferson City for answers.

The Lottery’s Chief Operating Officer, Gary Gonder, says the lotto can track tickets electronically and their records show the ticket was cashed at the Quick Trip on south Kingshighway, one of the places Murphy checked her ticket.

But when a ticket is cashed, the clerk is supposed to take it. So News 4 asked why Murphy still had her ticket.

“Obviously, that was a mistake at retail, it doesn't happen very often and you can see where that would be confusing” said Gonder.

But because of the confusion, the Lottery agreed to send Murphy a check in the winning amount of $4.

Susan says she still doesn't trust the card readers and won't be throwing away any tickets before checking them online.


According to the Lottery those card readers display the message “previously cashed” for thirty days after a ticket has been redeemed.

Murphy says she never saw that message, only “sorry not a winner.”

The Lottery has no doubt about the integrity of their machines.


There were roughly 5,000 winning $4 tickets sold for that Christmas day drawing.

Roughly 600 of those tickets, about 10 percent, have never been cashed, but the Lottery says that is typical for lower level prizes.

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