You’d have to be on crack to trade a lottery ticket worth $5 million for $4,000.
And that’s exactly what Robert Miles, of Syracuse, did in 2006.
On Wednesday, seven years (and multiple criminal trials) after he should have been rich, the New York Lottery verified Miles as the rightful winner of millions, writes the Syracuse Post-Standard.
It wasn’t just drug addiction that contributed to Miles’ bad decision on selling the scratch-off. There was also the crooks running the convenience store that told him he’d only won $5,000.
“They don’t sell $5 million tickets in the hood,” clerk Andy Ashkar told Miles before offering him $4,000 for the alleged $5,000 ticket. The extra $1,000 would be kept as some sort of check cashing fee, Ashkar told Miles.
Ashkar, 35, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for criminal possession of stolen property.
Andy’s father, Nayef, who owns The Green Ale Market, admitted he lied in a New York state lottery affidavit and will later face conspiracy charges.
Miles, a maintenance worker, took the $4,000 and spent it on car rims and earrings. But in 2012 Andy Ashkar and his brother tried to redeem the $5 million ticket and Miles heard about it.
Miles has the option of receiving a lump sum payment of $2.1 million after taxes. He will get the money in about two weeks, his attorney says.
But if he’s smart he’ll take the $250,000 annual annuity for the next 20 years. It takes longer to go broke that way.
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