LONG BEACH, Calif. (FOX 11 / CNS) - A Long Beach man sued the state and California Lottery Commission today, alleging he was wrongfully denied a $5 million Scratchers ticket prize because his 16-year-old son bought the winning ticket.
Ward Thomas' Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges failure to discharge a mandatory duty, breach of contract, negligence and both intentional and negligent representation. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
A California Lottery representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Thomas says his son bought five Scratchers tickets at a Mobil station on Bellflower Boulevard in Long Beach on Oct. 16 by exchanging other winning tickets. One of the five was a winning ticket with a $5 million prize, the suit
Thomas validated the ticket at a 7-Eleven store in Long Beach that same day and then validated it again the next day at the lottery office in Santa Ana, the suit states.
However, on Dec. 5, the Lottery Commission told Thomas that his award was being denied because his son was a minor and therefore was "not legally able to play the lottery," the suit states.
The complaint does not state how the commission knew Thomas' son bought the tickets and that the purchaser was under age 18.
No one at the gas station, which also is a defendant, told Thomas' son that he was too young to buy a lottery ticket, the suit states.
The suit further alleges the commission failed to enforce its own rules in the operation of the lottery and that the commission engaged in false advertising by not publicizing that lottery ticket buyers had to be at least 18
Copyright 2017 FOX 11 Los Angeles : Download our mobile app for breaking news alerts or to watch FOX 11 News | Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Be a citizen journalist for FOX 11 and get paid – download the Fresco News App today.