Man arrested for stealing $15 million Lotto ticket from sleeping roommate

A man has been arrested in California after allegedly stealing a winning Lotto ticket from his sleeping roommate.

On Monday, Adul Saosongyang took what he believed was a Lotto ticket worth nearly NZ$15,000 to his local Lotto district office in Sacramento, where he was informed it was actually worth a little under NZ$15 million.

After the lottery conducted their administrative investigation into the man, as is done with all winnings over US$600, Mr Saosongyang was invited back to the office.

However, instead of being met with a big cheque, Vacaville police greeted him, having obtained a warrant for his arrest for grand theft.

It turns out the winning ticket wasn't Mr Saosongyang's, but his roommate's, whom he allegedly stole it from as they slept.

Vacaville Police Department posted on their Facebook page on Wednesday detailing the story of how the roommate had returned home on December 20 to share the "wonderful news" that he believed he had won nearly NZ$15,000.

The next day the man went to the Sacramento Lotto office to claim his winnings, but was told that his ticket was not only not a winner, but had been altered. Suspecting one of his roommates of stealing the winning ticket, the man went to the police.

When a lottery investigator went to the store in which the roommate had purchased the ticket, believing he would find surveillance footage of Mr Saosongyang obtaining it, they found out the ticket had been allegedly stolen.

Discussing the case with police, the lottery came to the same conclusion as the roommate had - Mr Saosongyang had allegedly purchased a similar Lotto ticket, altered it, and swapped it for the winning ticket.

Man arrested for stealing $15 million Lotto ticket from sleeping roommate
Photo credit: Vacaville Police

The alleged thief has been booked into the local jail.

The police's Facebook post has since gone viral, with commenters wishing they could have seen the look on Mr Saosongyang's face when he was arrested.

One questioned how someone couldn't tell the difference between $15,000 and $15 million.

"That's why you never tell anybody about what you won," said another.