A shop owner has reportedly stolen a €500 thousand euro winning scratchcard ticket from a woman who had gone to the shop to check her winnings.
The Italian Border police stopped a tobacco shop owner from leaving on a flight to the Canary Islands after allegedly taking a jackpot-winning scratchcard from a customer.
La Presse News Agency reports that the man didn't have the winning ticket on him when arrested, but a plane ticket for Fuerteventura.
According to The Mirror, the woman in her 60s, bought two scratch cards before realising she had won the top prize worth 500,000 euro (£428,000).
When she asked to get the win verified by a shop employee, they passed it to the owner who allegedly took off on a scooter with the ticket through Naples.
A manhunt was launched in the city and on Sunday, two days after the incident, he was stopped by police at Rome's Fiumicino Airport as he tried to board a flight out of the country.
Wanted for investigation of suspected theft, he told police the ticket was in a bank in the city of Latina - about two hours from Naples.
However, he insists the cash prize actually belongs to him and says the scratch card was his all along and also said he planned to report the elderly woman for libel.
After finding the ticket, the man opened a new bank account, asking for the prize to be credited to him and according to La Presse, he is now on bail.
In order to avoid anyone illegally cashing in on the big prize, authorities at the Italian tax office that runs the 'scratch and win' operation froze the entire block of card numbers that had been distributed to the tobacco shop.
The game card is still missing.
In other news, the South East of Ireland has been given some new lotto winners recently thanks to the Irish Lottery.
In Waterford, the winner of an Ireland Only Raffle ticket sold in Tesco at Ardkeen Village in August 2021, has come forward to claim their winnings.
Meanwhile, in Wexford, a lucky lotto player won €116,054 in July 2021 after matching five numbers in the €38 million jackpot draw.