LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Long Beach, California, man sued the California State Lottery Commission on Thursday, claiming it refused to pay out on a winning $5 million lottery ticket because he had his 16-year-old son buy it for him.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Ward Thomas says that this past October he asked his son Benjamin Thomas to go into a Mobil Store and buy five Scratcher tickets while he waited outside.
He says that at no time did staff at the Mobil store ask his son for identification or inquire about his age. After arriving home, Thomas says he scratched off one of the tickets and had a winning number with a prize value of $5 million. He says he later validated the ticket at a 7-Eleven in Long Beach and submitted a claim for his winnings with the California State Lottery.
But on Dec. 5, 2016, the commission “improperly denied plaintiff Ward Thomas’ claim for the proceeds of the winning ticket on the basis that the winning ticket was purchased by Benjamin Thomas who was age 16, and not legally able to play the lottery,” the 22-page lawsuit states.
Ward names as defendants the state of California, California State Lottery Commission, Bilabob Inc., and Los Altos Mobil. He seeks damages and costs.
He is represented by Mark Quigley of Greene Broillet & Wheeler.
Courthouse News has reached out to the law firm and the California State Lottery Commission for comment.