<p dir=”ltr”><span>Santiago Gasca thought his luck had changed. As an undocumented immigrant living in Idaho, times were tough, but it seemed like all that was about to change when he allegedly bought an instant win scratch-off lottery ticket at a Malad, ID, convenience store that revealed a $40,000 lottery payout.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Yet that’s about the time his luck, and perhaps faith in humanity, took a downward turn, according to the nearby Salt Lake City, Utah ABC affiliate</span> <a href=”http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/man-went-from-instant-winner-to-loser”><span>Good4Utah.com</span></a><span>.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Due to Gasca’s undocumented status, he didn’t have the proper credentials to cash the winning ticket himself and didn’t want to risk being deported, as has happened in similar cases in the past. Gasca then</span> <a href=”http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2011/08/26/illegal-immigrant-wins-lottery-now-faces-deportation/”><span>sought the services of a friend</span></a> <span>– a woman his wife worked with at the Sonic in Midvale.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>”I say (to her) I give you $1,000 to cash the check,” said Gasca. “She was so happy, very nice, very good.”</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The as yet unidentified woman was very good indeed — at lying through her teeth with a straight poker face. Gasca went with the woman to claim the prize in Boise, where lottery officials gave the woman friend a $27,000 check (after taxes) in her name. Later Gasca reportedly went with the woman to a Midvale bank where she deposited the money into her account and afterwards basically told him to get lost.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Now, Gasca says the “friend” won’t even return his calls, and unfortunately, there might not a be much he can do about it. It’s bad enough the government takes about</span> <a href=”http://structuredassetservices.com/lottery-payments-hey-you-never-know-when-you-will-get-paid/”><span>25% of lottery jackpot winnings</span></a><span>, but now there’s a chance Gasca won’t see any of his alleged winnings.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>”It was both legally obtained and legally claimed,” said Idaho Lottery spokesman David Workman. “Lottery tickets are bearer instruments. The person who presents it for payment and who signs it is the person who we end up paying.”</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Local police authorities have said Gasca is still entitled to file a police report, but they acknowledged it could be an uphill battle to prove he was the one who purchased the winning ticket.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>”He potentially does (have a case),” said Lt. Lex Bell with Unified Police. “If the story is as he says it is and he was taken advantage of as he says he was, he’ll have a lot of work to do.”</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The woman, meanwhile, could not be reached for comment on the matter.</span></p>
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