Italian Shop Owner Makes Off with €500K Instant Win

Motorbike Getaway for Scratchcard Thief

A countrywide manhunt is underway in Italy after police were alerted to an unusual, high-value theft on Friday. Italian media is reporting a woman in her 60’s landed a life-changing sum of five-hundred thousand Euros after purchasing a scratchcard from a tobacco retailer in Naples on Friday, only she didn’t expect to be left empty-handed when verifying her win! The unnamed woman purchased two scratchcards in the shop before realising she had won a large sum of money.

Handing her ticket to the shop employee to confirm her win, both were left dumbfounded at the value on the ticket. The employee summoned the shop owner to the desk to double-check the ticket, and he too saw that she had won €500K! Elation soon turned to misery when the owner decided to hot-foot it with the winning scratchcard! Police are hunting the 57-year-old male on suspicion of theft after making off on his motorbike with the mega cash win.

Big Win Results in No Win:

The Italian tax office has implemented a security measure to prevent anyone from illegally cashing in the win, and this is done by freezing the entire block of tickets sold within that tobacco shop. Two days after the theft, police managed to track down the rogue shop owner as he attempted to board a flight at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport bound for Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.

In a surprise twist…

…the man is claiming the winning scratchcard is his and that he has even opened a new bank account purely for his winnings to be paid into. The good news is the thief has been apprehended, the bad news is the original winner, the elderly woman, will not be able to claim a penny of it until an investigation has taken place – and not just by police.

To add insult to injury, the man who strongly denies stealing the instant win, has revealed he is reporting the woman for libel and may even want to claim for losses. Not only has she had a huge win ripped from her but now she faces a gruelling investigation into the whole debacle and could even face a trial for alleged untrue allegations, if the shop owner has his way that is! It’s enough to send your head into a spin!

The Customs and Monopolies Agency could revoke his license and his wife, the legal owner of the tobacco shop, must now prove she had nothing to do with the whole incident before the shop can reopen to the public. The winning scratchcard has not yet been found and the police and authorities are still carrying out their investigations.

If you’re unsure of an instant win or even a lottery ticket win for that matter, and don’t trust the cashier to relay the truth, you can always phone the lottery hotline which can be found to the reverse of your ticket. You are also advised to sign your tickets, because once signed, nobody else can claim ownership.

Source: “Woman Wins £430K on Scratchcard but Owner Runs Away with Her Ticket”. Mirror. September 6, 2021.

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