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Fake scratch off lottery tickets

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Bond set for two accused of trying to claim MS lottery prize with a fake ticket

Velma Myers of Yazoo was one of those who purchased lottery tickets in Jackson on the first day of lottery ticket sales in Mississippi. Mississippi Clarion Ledger

Two people are in custody in Flowood accused of trying to claim a $100,000 lottery prize with a fake scratch-off lottery ticket.

Bond was set Tuesday for the two by a Flowood municipal judge. Odis Latham, 47, received a $51,000 bond, and Russell Sparks, 48, was given a $21,000 bond during their initial court appearance via video conference from jail. They both pleaded not guilty. Sparks is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday. No date has been set for a preliminary hearing for Latham.

Latham and Sparks, 48, both of Columbus, were charged with conspiracy to commit a felony and uttering a counterfeit instrument over $1,000. Latham was also charged with false ID Information.

Mississippi Lottery Corp. spokeswoman Meg Annison said the two individuals came to the lottery headquarters in Flowood Monday morning seeking to claim the prize.

Russell Sparks (left) and Odis Latham (Photo: Flowood Police Dept.)

Annison said lottery officials immediately determined the ticket had been altered. It appeared glue had been used.

Annison said the Lottery Corp. has measures in place to ensure a ticket is legitimate, including a bar code.

Sgt. Adam Nelson of the Flowood Police Department said about 9:20 a.m., Flowood police received a call from the Mississippi Lottery Corp. in reference to two adult males attempting to pass a fake lottery ticket.

Flowood officers arrived on scene moments later and took both subjects into custody. After speaking with lottery officials, officers learned that the suspects presented a $100,000 ticket that had been altered by gluing the winning numbers on the ticket that matched the prize. The ticket was signed and presented to the commission for payment.

Mississippi’s lottery kicked off Nov. 25 with scratch-off lottery tickets. Power Ball and Mega Millions ticket sales will begin Jan. 30.

Contact Jimmie E. Gates at 601-961-7212 or [email protected] Follow @jgatesnews on Twitter.

This story has been updated since first published to show bond amounts set for the two men.

Two men came to lottery headquarters in Flowood trying to collect a prize. Glue on fake ticket didn't work.