Swindled Lotto Winner Sues State, Store

Willis Willis fighting back after clerk steals winning ticket

by Bruce Felps

Willis Willis, or Willis² if you remember, got lucky. Then he got screwed … twice.

Willis² bought a $1-million winning lottery ticket two years ago at the Lucky Mart — there’s your irony — in Grand Prairie. He asked the clerk, one Pankaj Joshi, because let’s hope there aren’t two, to check the numbers. The numbers turned out to be winners, and Joshi turned out to be a thief.

He said, nope, sorry, no winner here and kept the winning ticket for his own.

You know the story, right? Joshi, once fired by the store for theft but rehired, according to a press release, traveled to Austin and allegedly claimed the jackpot even in light of “documented concerns about lottery fraud committed by clerks” ignored by Texas Lottery officials. Joshi took the money and ran to Nepal — karma’s a bitch, Pankaj ... sorry, karma's allegedly a bitch, Pankaj — leaving Willis² holding an empty bag.

All this happened two years ago, and Willis has waited patiently for the results of investigation after investigation by Texas Lottery agents, Travis County District Attorney’s office, and an Austin state district court judge, all of which found him to be rightful victim. Still the Lottery declined to fork over the million.

Well, Willis² patience ran out and he engaged Howry Breen & Herman LLP to sue Texas Lottery and the convenience store on his behalf.

It’s time justice be served for this Navy veteran. Give him the damn money.

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He really hopes Willis gets the money. What? Last names on second reference? We know, that is the guy’s last name even though it’s his first name, too.

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