Working at a lottery counter or kiosk must be a drag.  You have to watch other people win big and hand over cash everyday while probably making a less than stellar salary yourself.

So it comes as no surprise that one lotto shop employee in Sakai city succumbed to the temptation to pocket someone else’s big winning ticket for herself and telling them they lost.

According to Fukui Prefectural Police, on 3 October, 2012, at around 5:30pm a 70 year-old Sakai resident went to his local lottery counter to check his LOTO6 numbers.

He handed his ticket over to 59 year-old clerk Kimie Morikawa who told him “you should just leave this with us, it’s a loser.”

The man did, but felt uneasy that Morikawa didn’t return his ticket after checking it. He went home and decided to check his numbers (he played the same numbers every week) in his newspaper.

Upon seeing that he actually matched five of six numbers which qualified him for the 3rd tier prize of 550,000 yen (US$6,290) he went to the police.

At the time of her arrest, Morikawa had already cashed in the winning ticket but denies the charges of fraud saying, “I noticed it was a winner afterward.”

It’s likely her excuse – while comical – will not hold up in court.

Source: Chunichi Shinbun via Hachima Kiko (Japanese)

LOTO6 Commercial featuring the Shingo of SMAP in his recurring role of Un-kun (Mister Luck)