Man Sues Lottery Over Losing Ticket Says He's Owed Gold Bar Or $750,000

By Jason Hall

December 10, 2020

A Massachusetts man has filed a lawsuit against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, claiming he is owed either a 400-ounce standard gold bar or its equal value because of a "BONUS" section on his losing scratch off ticket.

Robert Martel, of Ipswich, filed a complaint in Rockingham County Superior Court last week accusing the New Hampshire Lottery Commission of committing a "breach of contract" in relation to his $20 "My Big Millions" ticket, which was purchased at a Market Basket in Seabrook in August, the Union Leader reports.

Martel's ticket included several ways to win, including a "BONUS" section in the upper right corner of the scratch off area, which offered $200 instantly if a $200 bill was revealed. Martel, however, scratched off the bonus area and saw a symbol of a gold bar, which was not specified on the ticket's rules.

“They ran it through the machine and said it wasn’t a winner,” Martel said in an interview Monday with the Union Leader.

Martel's lawsuit notes that a standard gold bar is 400 ounces in the United States, which is valued at nearly $750,000, and claims that his ticket was, therefore, a winning ticket worth as such. However, precious metals are instead measured in troy ounces, with one ounce equaling 0.9115 troy ounces, according to the Union Leader.

Martel, who is representing himself in the lawsuit, said he sent a registered letter and filled out paperwork to claim a prize through the lottery commission but never received a response. He added that he hopes the court will award him either a gold bar or its value in cash.

“If they want to hand me over the gold bar I’m more than happy to accept it,” Martel said.

He also believes the lottery should refrain from using a gold bar on what it depicts as an actual losing ticket.

“I would think I wouldn’t have to tell them that. I think they would absolutely do that in the future. Maybe they should put a dandelion in there or something,” Martel added.

Martel, who is in his 60s, said he has purchased New Hampshire scratch tickets previously and has never found a gold bar on a ticket otherwise.

He also responded "I'm looking to retire," when asked by the Union Leader whether he was already retired.

Photo: Getty Images

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