Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Woman Who Correctly Guessed Lotto Numbers Can’t Collect Prize—C.A
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A woman who guessed the winning numbers and inputted them into a computer at a convenience store is not entitled to the $7 million prize in the SuperLottoPlus because of a foul-up in the equipment, under a decision yesterday by the First District Court of Appeal.
Div. One of the appeals court affirmed the dismissal of an action brought by Janet Seastro against the California Lottery. The dismissal followed the sustaining of a demurrer without leave to amend to her third amended complaint.
Writing for the panel, Justice Justice Robert L. Dondero said that the numbers erroneously printed on Seastro’s ticket, not the numbers she inputted, were what counted.
“The Lottery did not violate a statutory or any other legal standard by declining to pay plaintiff the winning share for the SuperLottoPlus game based on presentation of a ticket that did not bear the winning numbers. According to the Lottery regulations, the player is solely responsible for data printed on the ticket, and the Lottery has no liability for tickets printed in error. The lotto ticket issued to the player is the only proof of number selections and the only valid receipt for claiming a prize. A ticket is void and will not be paid if the play specifications on the ticket fail to correspond to the recorded data in the Lottery’s central computer system. Thus, the Lottery complied with governing standards, and plaintiff does not contend otherwise. Plaintiff has alleged that an error occurred in the recording of the numbers she submitted, not that the Lottery violated regulations by failing to pay a ticket bearing the winning numbers. No conduct that qualifies as independently wrongful has been alleged by plaintiff.”
Seastro used for or wrongful interference with prospective economic advantage. Dondero said:
“The direct and uncomplicated response is that plaintiff did not have a cognizable economic relationship with a third party that was disrupted by the Lottery. Plaintiff asserted a contract ‘with defendants’ to have her data ‘properly entered’ into the SuperLottoPlus game, that was breached by errors in the computer system. What is missing from the pleading, and from plaintiff’s claim against the Lottery, is an economic relationship between her and any third party that was disrupted by the Lottery’s acts or omissions. Under established law, plaintiff did not even have a contractual relationship with the Lottery….The Lottery acts as merely a stakeholder for wagers by paying off on winning bets or collecting losing bets, and does not enter into any contract with bettors.”
The opinion was not certified for publication.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company