A Naples shopkeeper was detained at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, as he was about to board a plane to the Canary Islands with a stolen 500,000 winning lottery ticket
According to Italian investigators, a 67 year old woman bought two scratchcards in a shop and, after scratching one of them, she realised she had won the top prize of 500,000 Euros.
The incredulous winner asked an employee to verify the win, but then the worker asked Gaetano Scutellaro – whose wife is the owner of the shop – to double-check the winning ticket.
However he allegedly ran away with the winning ticket and reportedly jumped on his scooter and rushed to the town of Latina between Naples and Rome.
His plan, they said, was to deposit the ticket in a bank with a view of returning later when things had calmed down.
He denied stealing the ticket and said he would make an official complaint against his customer.
The shopkeeper insists that the scratch card belongs to him and that he has opened a new bank account, asking for the prize to be credited to him.
Prosecutors have opened a probe for aggravated robbery.
The ticket has since been blocked, nobody will be able to cash in the money until investigators close the case.
The man’s tobacconist licence has been suspended and the winning scratch card ticket has been seized.