Money Scams & Rip-Offs: The Super Lotto Mega Millions Gas Attendant

Mega Millions Supper Lotto Tickets

Like millions of other Americans who decided to donate money to help fund schools around their local communities, I went to go buy some lottery tickets for the recent ~$650,000,000 Mega Millions Super Lotto jackpot.  I had to get gas for Moose anyway, so I figured what the hell.

You might think that the money scam and rip-off I’m talking about is the lottery system itself.  Well, it’s not in this case.  I know some of you folks think that spending money on the lottery is just a waste of money and that it’s just a tax on the middle class and poor who don’t know better.

Sure, spending several bucks to buy a lottery ticket is a waste of money, but so is buying designer brand clothing, eating at fancy restaurants, and buying cars.

THE CONFRONTATION

I buy maybe one lottery ticket a year because it’s fun.  As a result, I don’t really know how to choose the numbers nor do I know how much the tickets cost.  When I got to the counter, I was greeted by an extremely nasty woman who had little patience.  When I asked if I could buy a Super Lotto ticket and asked how much it cost, she huffed and puffed and said, “Machine or by hand?

Given I didn’t want to hold up the 10-person line, I said I’d prefer the machine to pick my numbers. She then put out her hand and told me, “Give me $2 dollars for the machine.”  I didn’t think nothing of it until I saw the blank forms on the side counter and decided to fill my 5 numbers and the mega ball number myself.  By this time, the line had died down and I went to the next register where I handed in my form and she said, “$1 dollar please”.

I naively asked her why anybody would pay 100% more for a Super Lotto ticket just so that the machine can choose your destiny.  It only takes a couple minutes to fill out at the most!  The woman at the register shrug, and said again, “$1 dollar please.”  She looked agitated and seemed fussy as well.

Finally, it clicked in my mind that I was ripped off by her neighbor cash regteller attendant.  I went back to the original cash register attendant and asked why she charged me double for my ticket?  She murmured something, couldn’t look at me, and gave me back a dollar.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I couldn’t believe it!  This woman at the Chevron gas station was ripping unsuspecting customers off, $1 dollar at a time!  There was a mad rush of newbies like me who decided to play the lottery and she was profiteering an extra $100 or so a day for the entire week!  It’s one thing for the state and federal government scam money from voluntary people via the lottery system, it’s another thing for an individual to rip-off an unsuspecting individual, even if it was only $1!

Readers, have you ever gotten ripped off before?  If so, how did you find out, and how did you handle it?  What do you think I should do with this woman?  The more I think about it, the more annoyed I am.

How many of you guys play the lottery?  If you do play, how often?  Is a lottery bad or good for society?

Regards,

Sam

“Personal

Unconventional Guides

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sydney April 1, 2012 at 7:49 am

Oh my gosh that is so shady! I’m glad you got your dollar back! I thought about buying a ticket but didn’t get a chance to get one. I play maybe once every year or two just for fun when the jackpot gets huge but I never expect to win. I used to love scratchers as a kid but that’s cuz I didn’t pay for them, my parents did lol.

Some people really do get addicted to buying tickets each week but I really have no interest in that. Sure I’d be ecstatic if I won, but the odds are ridiculous and I’d rather put my dollars towards lunch money and savings for vacations.

I’ve been scammed on a few occasions like when a registrar short changed me and it sucked. Now I make sure to double check the type of bill I hand anyone and count all the change when they give it to me before walking away. It’s a lot harder to get money back if you don’t address people right away. There was a funny Seinfeld episode about that when George got the wrong change back and he had several of his “George moments.”

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Financial Samurai April 2, 2012 at 8:06 am

Yeah, no kidding right? Feeling ripped off is a terrible thing. I do love scratchers though. Brings back memories!

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Daisy @ Add Vodka April 1, 2012 at 9:03 am

Wow, that’s horrible (and it’s theft). I’m glad you went back and got your $1. I don’t mind buying a lottery ticket once in awhile. I think it’s sad when people get addicted to it, though.

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Financial Samurai April 2, 2012 at 8:06 am

Give me back my dollar woman! Is what I thought to myself.

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Benny April 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm

First of all, I’ll buy lotto when it gets big. Usually over $100 million but even then I don’t alway buy.

But that lady should be fired!! Did you think about contacting lottery office or talk to her boss? Because that’s just flat out wrong. They can go back to the cameras and watch her. Just thinking about it makes me mad!

Recently there was a great investigation on Dateline NBC. They were going to different lottery vendors in California. An undercover lottery official would go in with three lotto tickets. Two were losers and one was a $10,000 winner. The official would tell the clerk to check the tickets while they went to buy something. Clerks have a machine where they put the ticket in and the machine will tell you if it’s a winner and how much.

There were some honest clerks who told them they had won $10,000. But there were many that flat out lied. They’d either tell the official that they hadn’t won, or just won $5.

Then they would track the ticket to see when and who cashed it in. Of course they wouldn’t get the money and the clerk would later be arrested.

When confronted with VIDEO evidence, they still had so many excuses why they weren’t honest.

Lesson? Check your own tickets! Now there are machines where you can scan them yourselves , but a lot of people still don’t.

But I would say something about that woman. She probably does it all the time and gets away with it.

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Financial Samurai April 2, 2012 at 8:08 am

Wow, now THAT is sketchy! It’s like the poor robbing the poor or something! I’d love to check out that video if you have it.

I think I am going to go back to that station and say something. Annoying.

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Benny April 2, 2012 at 10:49 am

Here is the link for part one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNiJLQ145Bc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

If that doesnt work type in “lottery scam dateline” into YouTube.

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Financial Samurai April 3, 2012 at 6:12 am

Cool, thanks man. Will check out the scam!

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Moneycone April 2, 2012 at 4:46 am

That is clearly illegal and you should report this. Lotteries once a while are fine. But it is a problem when it becomes an addiction.

I also don’t favor lottery pools they have at some workplaces. Sure there are success stories, but for every success story, there a millions of failures. Not a great investment strategy.

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Financial Samurai April 2, 2012 at 8:09 am

I should report it, but I have a feeling she doesn’t make much money by default, and this would cause her to get fired, and her not being able to find another similar job do to stealing.

Then, she would be on welfare for years, causing more problems for the State. I’m just going to have a talk with her.

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joe @ Retire By 40 April 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Maybe she thought you wanted Powerball? (Does CA participate?)
If not, then that is really shady. You should tell the manager.
I put $1 in a machine earlier this year for Powerball only to find out it cost $2 now. Jeez, that’s inflation. 100% increase.

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Financial Samurai April 3, 2012 at 6:12 am

Maybe, but I doubt it! She was scamming me and others left and right! We were all obviously there for the Super lotto and she had been dealing with customers all week.

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Melissa@PersonalFinanceJourney April 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I never play the lottery, so I would have been easily scammed. :) I can’t believe she was doing that. I wonder if her co-workers were on to what she was doing. Surprised she would do this with all of the cameras around.

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Tom S August 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Not sure this quite calls for a class-action lawsuit, but good catch anyway. ;)

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