Categories
BLOG

vacaville lottery winner

Vacaville man learns $10 million reason not to tell your roommate you won the lottery

Share this:

  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
  • Click to print (Opens in new window)

By Isaac Stanley-Becker, (c) 2019, The Washington Post

This past Christmas, a man in Vacaville learned a grim, but useful, holiday lesson: Sometimes, don’t spread glad tidings. Keep the good news to yourself.

It was Dec. 20, when the man went to a Lucky grocery store and paid $30 for a scratch-off lottery ticket that odds said would leave him at a loss.

The ticket turned out to be a big winner, bringing him $10,000 — or so he thought. He couldn’t contain his excitement. He returned home to tell his two roommates of his success.

The next morning, he reported to the Sacramento district office of the California State Lottery to collect his winnings. But the ticket he presented was not a winner.

Suspecting that one of his roommates had purloined the winning ticket while he was sleeping, the man went to the local police department, which recounted the episode Tuesday on Facebook. Chris Polen, a spokesman with the Vacaville Police Department, said authorities weren’t naming the man at his request.

It didn’t take long for police to unwind the mystery of the good ticket gone bad. The following day, on Dec. 22, the man’s 35-year-old roommate, Adul Saosongyang, attempted to cash in on a winning scratch-off ticket at the same lottery office in Sacramento, police said.

But the winning ticket wasn’t worth a meager $10,000. It was worth $10 million.

California lottery officials, yet to be informed that a ticket had been reported stolen, nevertheless began a routine investigation, conducted for all winnings of $600 and up. Collecting a prize of such a sum involves submitting a detailed claim form, either in person at a district office or else in the mail, according to the state lottery.

The lottery investigator who went to the Lucky in Vacaville to view video surveillance footage of the original Dec. 20 purchase learned that the ticket may have been stolen, according to the police department’s account.

The lottery investigator teamed up with a Vacaville detective to get to the bottom of things. Who had purchased the initial scratch-off game? Who was responsible for the ticket presented the following day? And who was destined for the $10 million?

What they uncovered, they said, was an attempt by Saosongyang to seize his roommate’s reward. He had allegedly purchased a similar scratch card, and then swapped it out for the winning ticket while his unsuspecting roommate was sleeping.

On Monday, the investigator summoned Saosongyang to the Sacramento office to collect his winnings. Instead, he was arrested by Vacaville police, who had obtained a warrant for him on the charge of grand theft.

He was booked at the Sacramento County Jail and will be transferred to the Solano County Jail later this week, authorities said. In California, grand theft can be classified either as a misdemeanor or a felony, which determines whether a defendant can be sentenced to up to one year in county jail or up to three years in state prison; it wasn’t clear which type of charge Saosongyang would face.

Meanwhile, Polen, the police spokesman, said lottery officials were discussing the winnings with the victim. He said he couldn’t be certain that the man would receive payment.

“Although, I’m sure everything will work out in the end,” he concluded in an email to The Washington Post, adding a smiley face.

Vacaville man learns $10 million reason not to tell your roommate you won the lottery Share this: Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Twitter (Opens in

Charged in $10 million lottery ticket theft, Vacaville man pleads not guilty

Noting lack of a pretrial services report, Commissioner Warshawsky sets Jan. 18 readiness conference for Adul Saosongyang, 35

Share this:

  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
  • Click to print (Opens in new window)

A Thai language interpreter was on hand Friday but a pretrial services report was not, yet the 35-year-old Vacaville man who police say stole his roommate’s lottery ticket worth an eye-popping $10 million was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the accusation.

Solano County Superior Court Commissioner Robert Warshawsky noted the plea by Adul Saosongyang and his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Jeannette Garcia, then ordered the defendant to return to Department 9, Judge Carlos Gutierrez’s courtroom in the Justice Center, on Jan. 18 for a readiness conference and to hear the report from the Department of Probation.

Warshawsky, who also reaffirmed $65,000 bail for Saosongyang, ordered the defendant to remain in Solano County Jail until at least next Friday and set a preliminary hearing for Jan. 21.

During the brief proceeding, Warshawsky said the jail arraignment’s delay Thursday was primarily due the absence of a Thai interpreter. The judge handling the case that day, Scott L. Kays, declined to proceed with the arraignment because he was concerned Saosongyang may not have been able to fully understand the pretrial services report, a document that determines the terms and conditions of a defendant’s possible release from custody.

Since neither Deputy District Attorney Elaine Kuo nor Garcia had the report in their files on Friday, Warshawsky declined to release Saosongyang from jail custody.

With the interpreter at his side, Saosongyang nodded his head during the translation of the proceedings.

In a case that has made national headlines, he is charged with one count of grand theft and one count of receiving stolen property.

Because of widespread media coverage, details of the case have been the subject of casual conversations in homes and workplaces across the country during the past few days.

According to Vacaville police, on Dec. 20, the victim, who has not been identified, bought a $30 Scratchers lottery ticket at the Lucky Supermarket on Peabody Road, hoping to win some money for the holidays. It was a winner, and the victim thought the prize was worth $10,000.

After his telling roommates, including Saosongyang, about his good luck, he tucked the ticket away and fell asleep.

The next morning the victim visited the California Lottery’s district office in Sacramento only to find his ticket not only wasn’t a winner but two of the numbers had been altered, police said.

Suspecting his roommates of foul play while he slept, the victim contacted Vacaville police.

The next day,Saosongyang apparently attempted to claim the prize money at the Sacramento lottery office, where he was told it was worth $10 million, not $10,000.

Following their custom and practice, lottery officials immediately began a routine investigation to verify all winnings over $600.

Related Articles

  • Vacaville man learns $10 million reason not to tell your roommate you won the lottery

At the Vacaville Lucky Supermarket, a lottery investigator was told the ticket might be stolen.

At that point, the lottery investigator and a Vacaville police detective began working together on an apparent theft investigation, police said.

Eventually, lottery and police officials determined the roommate had purchased a similar Scratchers ticket, altered it, then swapped it with the winning ticket.

Last Monday, the lottery investigator invited Saosongyang to the Sacramento office to collect on the ticket. Once there, Vacaville detectives arrested him on a warrant for grand theft. He was booked into Sacramento County Jail, then transferred to Solano County Jail in Fairfield.

Charged in $10 million lottery ticket theft, Vacaville man pleads not guilty Noting lack of a pretrial services report, Commissioner Warshawsky sets Jan. 18 readiness conference for Adul