Posted on June 13, 2019 in Business Law
On March 21, 2019, a customer purchased $22 worth of Match 6 Lotto tickets at the ACME supermarket in Doylestown Borough. The tickets were printed out on four sheets of paper with several tickets on each sheet. The man who purchased the tickets returned the sheets of paper, asking that each ticket be printed individually. The returned tickets were set aside. When the winning number was announced later that day, the employee who had printed the unwanted tickets realized that one of the numbers was a winner, so she purchased the tickets and filed a claim for the winnings.
A legal battle ensued after ACME Markets Inc. filed a lawsuit against the employee, arguing that by ringing up the tickets herself, she violated company policy, which states that another employee should have completed the transaction for the tickets. The lawsuit goes on to say that ACME owns the tickets because the lottery does not reimburse stores for unpurchased tickets that were generated by an employee. The lawsuit will determine who deserves the $4.15 million in winnings.
Details of the Lawsuit
According to the lawsuit, once the Acme employee purchased the tickets and filed the claim, the ticket sale was recognized by the Pennsylvania Lottery. As a result, lottery officials were unable to stop processing the payment without a court order. On April 16, a Bucks County judge granted a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the Pennsylvania Lottery, which states that the lottery may not submit any of the winnings to the Acme employee until the legal issues have been resolved. In the meantime, the parties involved have agreed to put the winnings into an escrow account.
The lawyers representing the Acme employee argued that Acme had established a pattern of allowing its employees to purchase “mistake tickets” before a redrawing if the winnings were unclaimed. Their client, who was suspended from her job at Acme, had worked at the store for 20 years. Her legal team plans to move on to pretrial discovery.