Crystal Ellis and her mother are convinced that they won $50,000 from a scratch-off lottery ticket, but the New Jersey Lottery says it’s worth just seven dollars.
The dispute is over just one letter printed on the ticket.
The family from Millville, New Jersey, claims it is an “O,” which would lead to the top prize on the Super Crossword ticket. But the New Jersey Lottery says he letter is actually a “C” and that part of the latex covering was not removed completely, hence the confusion.
“There is no discrepancy on this ticket,” said Judith Drucker of the New Jersey Lottery. “Unfortunately, she just misread the ticket.”
Ellis says that she purchased the ticket for her mother at a local 7-Eleven in mid-December, and that she scratched it off in front of an employee, in the store.
“We’re not trying to make a big deal out of nothing,” Ellis said.
“It looks like 'O' to me," the 7-Eleven's owner Ashish Shah said. "She’s my regular customer. She comes every day.”
After receiving a visit from a lottery investigator and hearing that it was not a grand prize winner, the family threw out the ticket. Only a cellphone picture and a photocopy remain.
“That photocopy was taken before the latex had been removed from the actual playing card,” said Drucker.
Lottery officials say they have no recollection of prior complaints about misprints on lottery tickets.
Ellis told NBC10 the entire experience has left her feeling insulted.
"You're going to make me look like an idiot," Ellis said. "Like I couldn't scratch a ticket!"