A Fort Myers store clerk apparently thought she had found the perfect formula to get lottery money: She kept the winning scratch-off lottery tickets and sold those without a prize, authorities say.
But a Circle K customer noticed last February that his Gold Rush Doubler ticket had small scratches on it. That led investigators to the store, where they found 83 tickets with what they called "micro scratches" ready to be sold to unsuspecting customers, the Florida Department of Lottery said, NBC2 reported.
The tickets were sold for up to $20 each, even though customers' chances of winning were zero.
Investigators said store employee Wendy Klinker was allegedly pre-scratching and keeping the winning tickets, according to NBC2.
Video from surveillance cameras showed Klinker scraping the tickets, "pocketing the winners and placing losers back in a pile to be sold," NBC2 reported.
Klinker was arrested and charged with Counterfeiting/Altering a Lottery Ticket, according to a news release from the Florida Lottery.
Rene Suarez, Klinker’s attorney, said the scratches were actually caused by the rollers in the trays that dispense the tickets, reported the News-Press.
The Florida Department of Lottery is still investigating.