Finders keepers? Would you claim a ticket you found on the floor?

@owlwings (39611)
Cambridge, England
April 17, 2009 3:27am CST
If you found a lottery ticket on the floor, would you claim the money yourself or would you turn it in to the police? "[i]Amanda Stacey, 34, found a ticket in her local Co-op in Swindon and took it home - only to discover it held the winning numbers for that night. She and husband Michael claimed the winnings but ended up in court when regular player Dorothy McDonagh, 61, proved that the ticket was hers.[/i]" http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20090416/tuk-lotto-win-is-unlucky-for-couple-6323e80.html If you turn the ticket in to the police, the normal procedure is to check the property in the Lost/Found Property register in the presence, preferably, of the finder. If it has not been reported lost or stolen, the property would then kept by the police for a month and, if the owner still had not been traced, it would be returned to the finder. Since the period for claiming winnings on the lottery is 180 days, the ticket would still be eligible and, under normal circumstances, if the rightful owner had not come forward in a month, the finder would be able to consider the property theirs. However, since it involves a substantial amount of money, the situation might not actually be as simple.
20 people like this
65 responses
@kedves (728)
17 Apr 09
I think it's one of those things that most people wish that if they lose soemthing it will be handed in but if they find soemthing they would keep it. I am not one for double standards so I have always handed in soemthing I have found because I always wish that others would do the same for me although I know they don't. The lottery ticket I guess is like cash .. if I find say a roll of cash worth a lot of money I would hand it in because I would be worried it's someones rent if it was say £5.00 I would keep it. How can you prove a particular ticket is yours ? I know you can put your name on back .. other than that I guess it is the honesty of the seller to help you and confirm that you bought that particular ticket. If it was my ticket I would demand they return it because you do not get many chances in life to win soemthing worthwhile and I would hate someone to steal my good luck.
4 people like this
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
17 Apr 09
Only circumstantial evidence could really prove that a ticket was yours. If one always bought the same set of numbers and kept the receipts, it wouldn't be too hard. The other lines on the ticket would be a clincher, I think. There is a rather greater chance than 13 million to one that any two tickets will have the same (winning) line but the chances of two lines being identical would begin to be astronomical (13 million SQUARED). It would only be necessary to demonstrate that one purchased a ticket at a particular place at a particular time, with a particular set of numbers for it to be conclusive evidence. The place and time of purchase are coded into the barcode on each ticket and known by the National Lottery centre.
2 people like this
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
17 Apr 09
Good luck for Saturday, Alice
1 person likes this
@jazzsue58 (2672)
17 Apr 09
The unique code on every lottery ticket means it can be traced back to the exact place and even time it was bought. That's how camelot can release a news flash saying something like, "There is only 48 hours left, for someone to step forward and collect their winnings for the lottery ticket that was purchased on the 19th of Vineyard, from Doinks in Blingville." Or something.
2 people like this
@katsalot1 (1619)
17 Apr 09
I saw this article too, and was amazed. I felt really sorry for the people who were taken to court, because I had always assumed that if you found something that had been thrown away it didn't belong to anyone. Then I thought about it again, and considered what I would do if I found something valuable on the floor - I would hand that in to the police. In the article that I read it said that you are supposed to contact the National Lottery to report having found the ticket, but I'm sure very few people are aware of that.
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
17 Apr 09
I didn't know about contacting the National Lottery, either (and I visit the website at least twice a week!) It seems logical, therefore to report it to the National Lottery and to the police. It isn't true that, if you find something that has either been lost or thrown away, it is automatically yours! If it is lost (or stolen) it is still legally the property of the original owner and remains so even if it is reported as lost and not claimed within the 30 days. I think there are stipulations about disposing of it, even when it is returned to the finder. If something is thrown away, say in a skip (dumpster), it is normally legally the property of the person who owns or is responsible for the skip/dumpster, so to take something out of a skip without the permission either of the original owner or the skip hire firm is technically stealing.
1 person likes this
@nannacroc (4049)
17 Apr 09
I'm a little confused about how you can prove a lottery ticket is yours. I would probably check the ticket and then hand it to the police, as you say you only have to wait a month and it may be yours legally.
3 people like this
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
17 Apr 09
I think the lady who was able to prove that it was hers was a little unusual. She may have bought her ticket regularly at the same shop and always used the same numbers. She may have also kept receipts for the tickets she bought. If one did that, it wouldn't be too hard to prove ownership. The other lines on the ticket would be convincing corroborative evidence.
2 people like this
@nainesh1 (1657)
• India
17 Apr 09
I won't give it to the police, after all it is my luck that has given me a chance to get a lot of money. In other countries than India you might have the procedure of identifying the buyer of the ticket. In India there is no such facility available.
3 people like this
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
17 Apr 09
It depends how you buy your ticket. I don't think many people would be able to prove ownership but some do buy the same numbers regularly at the same outlet and, in the UK, anyway, it wouldn't be too difficult to prove (especially if it was worth a lot of money).
3 people like this
@prinzcy (5058)
• Malaysia
17 Apr 09
I don't even pick up money that I found, let alone ticket. I usually ignore it but if the amount is too high, I'll turn it over to the police. What's not mine, will never been mine. It's better to try to claim it from the start.
3 people like this
• Philippines
18 Apr 09
There is no honor in claiming anything that's not yours. Let's prove to the world there are still a few good men abound earth. If you don't feel guilt, just put yourself into the shoe of that someone who lost something and live vicariously what it would be like if you were the one at a loss.
@tuyakiki (3026)
• India
17 Apr 09
A finder of a good is a temporary owner of the good. So,if no body claim that particular good then he may use it in his own favor..It can only happen if the real owner is not available. But in this regard,I would have informed the police first,and then I will claim the money,if I get the permit to do it.In fact in case of a lottery ticket somebody has to claim the money within a stipulated time.
3 people like this
@Shant23 (195)
17 Apr 09
Depends what the ticket was for if it was a scratch card i would keep it as no way of finding the true owner anyway but if it was for a lot of money and i could find the owner i would and hopefully they would give me a nice reward anyway.
2 people like this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
17 Apr 09
Hi, Shant23! Yes a nice reward would be great to have for finding it! Now this is something that I will feel good about while turning it in!
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 09
Really I would probably keep it for myself. I am always broke and it might just be something that could change my life. It would be the same thing as finding money on the ground. Finders keepers and all that. If I lost my ticket I am sure I would never see it again as someone else would keep it if they found it.
@jambi462 (4598)
• United States
20 Apr 09
Yeah I would claim it but I would have to share it with a bunch of people and I would want to share it with the world as well. I wouldn't feel right if I found a bunch of money somewhere and I spent it on myself. I think that if you get lucky then you should spread the luck because it's just kind of like the rule of karma.
2 people like this
@CJscott (4184)
• Canada
19 Apr 09
I probably wouldn't have even picked it up, assuming it was a losing ticket and that is why it is on the ground. Or I would have just placed it in the trash, I really don't like seeing litter around.
2 people like this
@schulzie (4064)
• United States
17 Apr 09
That really is a toughie right there. Honestly I think I would probably try to cash it in. I have many bills and that would help me out if it was like a winning lottery ticket. It is finders keepers. If I lost it then I think that someone else would try to do the same thing too. Really tough question there. Have a great day and happy myLotting!!!
@riyasam (16578)
• India
17 Apr 09
this is so tricky,in the first case,i wouldnt have picked up the ticket,i wouldnt go through the hassle of going to the police and if i ever got hold of the ticket,the winning numbers would have changed!!(thats how lucky i am)
1 person likes this
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
17 Apr 09
Since I hate litter, I would almost certainly have picked up the ticket. If I found that it was a winner, I am not sure what I would do but having written the discussion (and having done some research on police procedure) I would almost certainly report my find. Perhaps there would be a reward (as Alice points out) and, if it wasn't claimed, I would almost certainly get it back as the finder of unclaimed lost property.
1 person likes this
@riyasam (16578)
• India
19 Apr 09
i am jealous!!!(kidding)
@Eskimo (2317)
24 May 09
I've never actually bought a lottery ticket, so don't expect to win, however I understand that you can now uy them over the internet so there will never be a disput about who actually bought the ticket. There is a saying that possession is nine tenths of the law, and while it is unfortunate that someone could lose there ticket, it does happen. People should be more careful of their tickets. If the ticket hadn't been found or had been put in a waste paper basket the person who had bought the ticket would not have been able to claim the prize, so the fact that someone had found it enabled the rightful owner to get there prize.
1 person likes this
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
24 May 09
Excellent point, Eskimo! The fairest thing would surely be to share the loot equally with thanks to the people who found it and claimed the cash that they probably needed more than the spiky old biddy who bought ther ticket and lost it!
• Netherlands
19 Apr 09
In Holland it is easy to see which ticket is an anonymously bought ticket and which ticket actually belongs to a specific person. Hence! IF IT WAS AN ANONYMOUS TICKET...of course I would keep it, because there is no way to prove who bought it, so I would be stupid to turn it in and have someone in the police department steal it...But, if it was a ticket that belonged to a specific person, then of course I would turn it in...no reason for me to go to jail just because I was greedy!
• Netherlands
24 May 09
Hiya Sister Alice!!! Now you KNOW the Police Would Steal It!! When I said an Anonymous Ticket I meant: Over here you can have an account with the Lotto Bureau and they send you your ticket each month and then take the amount for the ticket directly off of your bank account. So Those tickets are on some type of log and when I win all of those millions that I do each and every week they know exactly who's ticket it is. So when I win they just deposit the millions that I have won onto the same bank account. An Anonymous Ticket, would be if you just went into a store and bought one. They do not take down your name, address, phone # etc. So if you would loose one of Those tickets, anyone could just pick it up off of the street and cash it in, but if I happen to loose my ticket that is registered to me from the Lotto Bureau, then it would not matter who picked it up as the money would only be deposited to my bank account so no one could cash it in if they found it anyway. I do hope I have made myself clear, no only about the Anonymous Ticket, but also about all of the millions that I win each and every week and the police stealing it!!!
@tjburcham (690)
• United States
18 Apr 09
That is interesting. If you paid cash for the ticket how would it then be proven that it was yours? That's to bad for the couple who found it. Before reading this I wouldn't have thought about being able to prove ownership. More than likely I wouldn't have even known it was a winner, and thought someone was throwing away some trash.
1 person likes this
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
18 Apr 09
Putting myself in the place of those who found it, I certainly wouldn't have known it was a winner - even if the draw had taken place. I suspect that they saw it was a lottery ticket, looked at it and saw it was for the current draw and decided to hang on to it, just in case. Unfortunately for them, the person who bought it knew what numbers they had bought, knew they had lost it and decided to follow it up (we don't know how, but if she knew the numbers and where and when she bought it, there would surely be enough evidence). Like many people, I play the same numbers every week (more than one line). If I had bought a ticket but lost it and my numbers came up, I would certainly contact the National Lottery and be able to give enough information about the other numbers on the ticket and where and when I bought it for them to be able to check to see if it had been claimed. Back in the shoes of the finder, if it had been me, my first impulse would have been to claim the money but, after reading the story, I think I would now to the proper thing and turn it over to the police. If the ticket hadn't been a winner, of course, I would just bin it!
@iskayz (5422)
• Philippines
17 Apr 09
Hi there! Hmmm... This is a hard decision for me but I will be honest to myself and make my initial reaction so yes, I might take the ticket, with thoughts that it could be the winning number and luck is on my side for having found it. Finding the ticket wasn't intentional. I just saw it and didn't steal it. Here in the Philippines there's no way that you can find the owner of a ticket lost. There's no registration or whatsoever procedure if you make a bet unless, we put our names at the back of the ticket. But I am not sure if it is allowed to write at the back of the tickets. I can't take it to the police neither cause for sure they'll be the one to claim the ticket. Besides, I don't fully trust law enforcers in my country. Don't worry, I'm not a greedy person. The money will not be mine alone since I know from the start the ticket is not mine. I will give some to the church, foundations and home for the aged agencies and use it definitely for good. Ciao!
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
17 Apr 09
I agree that different countries have different procedures. It is sad that, in so many countries, one cannot trust the police to do things in a fair and honest way.
1 person likes this
@pumpkinjam (5782)
• United Kingdom
17 Apr 09
I wonder how the real winner proved that the ticket was hers. I would have a dilemma. Obviously, the ticket and the winnings would not be mine so it would be taking something that didn't belong to me. However, I would - and have - picked small amounts of money up off the floor because obviously anyone could claim it as theirs and taking it to the police would (at least with our local police) mean knowing that the police would take it for themselves. I would believe this to be the same in the case of handing in a lottery ticket. So I wouldn't hand it in to the police (apart from anything else, our "local" police are based several miles away!) but what I would do is either wait a little while or check around any shops in the vicinity of the ticket, not mentioning that it was a winning one of course because then everyone would say it was theirs! But I would ask if anyone had dropped anything. Otherwise, I might claim the money for myself and pay off my debts then, if someone did claim it as theirs, I would want some proof of it but I would probably offer to give them whatever I hadn't spent. If no one came in 3 months, I would take it all for myself. I'd rather do it that way than go to the police because I know that I would do that but the police might not.
1 person likes this
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
17 Apr 09
I, too, didn't feel that sure that the police would deal with it properly but I did some research before I posted the discussion and read the procedure on a couple of websites (Essex and Kent Police, I think). Since they publish the procedure to be followed, I feel a little more confident that I would actually get the ticket back in a month if I turned it in and it wasn't claimed. If I found a ticket (especially if I discovered that it was a substantial win), I would call the police. I'm sure that they'd send a couple of nice cops round to my house to collect it. I would, of course, put on my sunglasses as soon as they knocked at the door (they are so bright these days, it hurts the eyes!) If I had lost a winning ticket, I would expect to know what other numbers I had bought and where I had bought it and when (even if I didn't have a receipt). If I reported the ticket lost, I would give that extra information to the police and they would be able to check it. If the information matched the one handed in, I believe that the extra information would be sufficient evidence. Of course, as soon as the winnings were claimed, any report of a lost ticket would be checked and this is, no doubt, what happened in the case I quoted.
1 person likes this
• Saudi Arabia
12 May 09
Actually, there are two things in my mind. One is to play honest and the other is to play safe. Honesty is the best policy as they say. As I am a Filipino, the procedure is if you found something, you have to surrender it. If the owner is unknown, then it has to be surrendered to a person in authority, that is to the Mayor. It will be published/posted to public places for 3 consecutive weeks and after such if no one will claim it, then it is presumed to be awarded to the finder after having deducted all expenses for its publication. Since the thing involve is a lottery ticket which eventually won. Then, I would be lucky enough if no one will claim it. Well, I believe God is good that He gives rewards to those who does good things. If the thing lost has been claimed, still a reward is given to the finder with a certain percentage. On the other hand, If I found a ticket which eventually won. Then, I would go to the claiming Department of said game and ask for a claimant. I would go directly and meet him and hand him the ticket. Perhaps, in the end, he would give me a reward. It is always nice and great to do good to others. I believe more that if I have kept it and claimed the winning price, I know the money will easily wasted.
1 person likes this
@cortney09 (1346)
• United States
3 May 09
I couldn't keep something that I found, even if it was worth a lot of money like that. I mean I feel very strongly about taking something that is not yours. I know some people might feel different in a situation like that one, but I couldn't.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
25 Apr 09
well.. I think they may have had that problem here on more then one occasion or something also because now we must sign any ticket we buy.. i think they make you sign it when you purchase it. lotto tickets and scratchie tickets.. How did that lady prove the ticket was hers.. the link doesn't work.. But to answer the question.. I would so keep the money.. If the person found me that actually owned the ticket to begin with, and it was a large amount, i'd offer them a deal.. halfsies. they picked the numbers but i found the ticket.. lol. or hire a reallllly good lawyer if that didnt work.
1 person likes this