Gulfport and St. Pete store clerks accused of cheating lottery players

GULFPORT, Fla. (WFLA) – Lottery winners are being called losers, and you could be cheated out of millions.

8 On Your Side is uncovering a lottery rip-off involving dishonest store clerks.

Adel Mosaad and Michail Papagyriou are accused of telling an undercover investigator her winning ticket was worth nothing, or only $5.

We found Michail behind the counter of TLC Food Mart in Gulfport.

“That was first time. That was by mistake. I threw away in the garbage,” said Papargyriou.

The store’s lottery computer is gone, taken after Papargyriou’s arrest.

“I was honest all my life. I brought my kids honesty, everything. Now I’m honest,” he said.

At the Sam’s Sunoco near Tropicana Field, Adel Mosaad is no longer an employee.

“He never work in here again,” said clerk Gerges Hanna.

Investigators allowed the store to keep their lottery machine, providing Mosaad got canned.

“He paid already the $5 for her, and she takes the money, she went out, and after that the undercover comes in here,” said Hanna.

Problem is, the ticket was worth $2,000.

The best way to prevent a lottery rip-off? Scan your ticket at the self-scanner.

“We encourage everybody, as soon as they get that ticket, just sign the ticket and that way, it insures that you’re the only one that can cash that ticket,” said Lottery Security Director Ron Cave.

The good news is less than three percent of retailers are caught scamming people.

If you are doubtful about what you are being told, there is a simple solution.

“You can ask for your ticket back and take your ticket somewhere else for a check,” said Cave.

The lottery conducts these kinds of undercover operations across the state.

Clerks caught are charged with grand theft.


Follow Peter Bernard on Facebook

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW: provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s