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Lucky Lotto Winner Says Sneaky Clerk Stole His $1 Million Ticket - And It May Have Happened Before

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When you play the lottery, the odds are already stacked against you. But a customer is warning that you need to have more than just good luck to hit the jackpot, you also need to keep your wits about you.

Carlos Figueroa bought a scratch off lottery ticket at a CVS in Waukegan, Illinois last month. His "Merry Millionaire" card was a $1 million winner, but when he tried to check the ticket in an automatic machine, it clipped the ticket in half. Figueroa says he took the half-ticket to the clerk, and that's when things got tense.

Figueroa says that the clerk, Russell Kelly, "coerced" him into handing over his half of the ticket, and when he finally handed it over the man disappeared. Kelly returned 20 minutes later and told Figueroa the ticket was a loser. But Figueroa says the lottery ticket the clerk handed back to him was not his original one.

The two men argued over the ticket, but the clerk held fast and insisted that it wasn't a winner. It sounds like a totally bizarre situation, but experts say it's actually more common than you would expect, and they're sharing tips to help keep your winnings safe.

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