They say that you are more likely to get hit by lightning than to win the lottery.  So, if you ever get your hands on a winner, hold on to it tightly.  Or someone may snatch it from you when you’re not looking… or when you are.

Two New York brothers, Andy and Nayel Ashkar, are being accused of stealing a hard-working family man’s winning lottery scratch-off ticket.  We will refer to the winner as John Doe.  Apparently, John Doe walked into the Ashkar family’s convenience store to claim his winning scratcher in 2006.  The brother working behind the counter allegedly took the winning ticket and told John Doe that he only won $5,000 instead of the $5 million he had really won.  John Doe believed the brother and agreed to take a deal with the brother for only $4,000 to avoid paying taxes on the winning ticket.  In reality the ticket was really worth $5 million!  The brothers ended up keeping the winning ticket for 6 years before trying to cash it.

Larceny and Conspiracy

According to the news, the two brothers are being charged with attempted grand larceny and conspiracy to commit fraud.

A conspiracy is “an agreement between two or more persons with the specific intent to enter into the agreement and to achieve the objective of the agreement.”  Moreover, a conspiracy requires a meeting of guilty minds.  Most states also require a slight overt act in furtherance of the agreement.

This story tugs at my heartstrings because I often buy scratch-off lottery tickets and never win!  I’d lose my mind with excitement if I won even $20 from the lottery.  I can’t imagine winning $5 million and not being able to claim it.

Thankfully, the real winner will be awarded his $5 million.