“This was a fortunate event, where we were able to … reconstruct what happened,” said Chuck Taylor with the Hoosier Lottery Commission
Officials from Indiana's state lottery approved a $50,000 prize claim from a man despite the fact that his winning lottery ticket was torn up, according to several news sites.
Indiana resident Paul Marshall had obtained a winning $50,000 Powerball ticket and had gone back to his retailer to cash in his prize. While there, he was given instructions to visit a prize payment office instead and a staff member ripped up his lottery ticket by habit, according to the Indiana Chronicle.
According to the Indiana State Lottery’s website, prizes exceeding $600 cannot be redeemed by participating retailers, but at payment centers or the Hoosier Lottery headquarters. When Marshall went down to try to claim the cash prize, he was initially denied it without his physical ticket intact, according to Business Insider.
However, all five commissioners from the Hoosier Lottery Commission, which runs Indiana’s state lottery, approved his claim last week after they were able to collect sufficient evidence from security footage provided by the participating retailer that corroborated Marshall’s story, per the Indiana Chronicle.
“This was a fortunate event, where we were able to … reconstruct what happened,” Hoosier Lottery Commission Director of Legal Affairs and Compliance Chuck Taylor, said at the meeting, per the outlet.
The Hoosier Lottery Commission did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on the incident.
Another woman, whose case was also heard at the meeting, reportedly wasn't so lucky.
Drena Harris claimed that she had posted a photo of her $500 prize win from a scratch ticket on Facebook, where another person stole it and convinced a participating retailer to cash it out before she could, according to the Indiana Chronicle.
However, since the retailer where the prize was cashed in had closed its doors two months prior to their investigation, the commissioners voted against the claim since there were no workers or security footage to back up her story.
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"Ordinarily, if she would have acted quickly and came in soon after, we could have possibly [obtained evidence], but the retailer where it was cashed ... had not been a retailer for two months," Taylor said, per the Indiana Chronicle.
He added, “It’s not a decision that we enjoy, but … we can’t pay something twice.”
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