Lottery Ticket Scam

Lottery Fraud By Proxy

Lottery players


The Scam
The con artist buys a lotto ticket with last week's winning numbers. He then changes the date on the ticket so that it appears to be a ticket from last week and therefore a winner. Alternatively, he will take alter a scratch and win ticket to look like a win.

This fake ticket would not fool lottery officials who could spot the fraud in a second. Luckily, they are not the intended victim. Instead, the sells the ticket to some oneelse victim at an incredibly cheap price. He usually reasons the sale by saying that he needs the money desperately and can’t wait for the lottery people to pay him.

Most variations depending the reason why the con artist can not redeem the ticket. These can include:
  • He is a felon and is not legally allowed to collect lottery winnings.
  • He is an illegal alien
  • He is underage. (as seen in the film Matchstick Men)
  • He is in debt and needs the money urgently.

A magician friend of mine made his own 'winning ticket' by buying a joke scratch and win ticket that always wins. These tickets will always win but have a disclaimer on the back stating ""to obtain prize go to yo mama's house". he peeled the back off the joke ticket and the front of a real ticket and glued them together. He has never tried to sell his fake ticket but he keeps it to show to friends.

I attempted to make on this gaffed tickets myself but am yet to find a fake ticket and a real ticket that are the same size.

Case Study
Jeff Smith has kindly given me permission to show this example of a fake ticket as well as tell the story of how it came into his possesion

Back in the 1980's at the very start of the state run California Lottery. I obtained a "gaffed" scratcher ticket. The kind in which the purchaser uses a coin or other instrument to scratch off the grey matter on the face of a ticket that hides the game numbers.

An employee of mine tipped me off that a "cripple" was trying to sell a $52,000 winning ticket for $1000. Naturally I rushed to locate the con man so as to buy the a great reduction in price...Hey! I wanted it for my collection.

Once locating him I acted dupish in order to hear his speil. He claimed to be on hard times, hence the crutches. He also said he was a felon and could not legally cash in the ticket (oh brother). After he was done I did a dangerous thing (I was young) and offered not to call the police that he was a swindler, if he would sell me the ticket for $10. He still tried to claim it was the real deal, but sold me the ticket anyway.

The photograph below was taken very recently, and it does not show the beautiful work this guy did. Look close though and you can see the "K" at the bottom is crooked. When it was new, the grey matter was right up to the edges of the cut and sliced "K" so that it was nearly impossible to see it was glued on.


A few hundred to a few thousand bucks

Lottery, short con, film

Created by Nicholas J. Johnson
Australia's Honest Con Man