February 16, 2010 | In The News
From KVUE Austin – ABC Affiliate
A Texas lottery winner, who was told by a North Texas area clerk he had only won $2 when in fact he had won $1 million, will receive part of his winnings, a judge decided Tuesday.
Willis Willis took his lottery ticket to a Grand Prairie convenience store in May 2009 to see if he was a winner. But authorities say Pankaj Joshi, the clerk, told Willis he had only won a dollar and took the ticket.
Investigators believe Joshi claimed the prize for himself and fled to Nepal after $750,000 of the prize was transferred to him. He has since been indicted on a charge of claiming a lottery prize by fraud.
Prosecutors have recovered about $365,000 from U.S. banks, and since learning he was defrauded, Willis has been fighting the Texas Lottery Commission to be awarded the prize he won.
In November, the Travis County District Attorneys Office filed a motion to restore the recovered money to Willis. On Tuesday, Willis appeared in a Travis County courtroom, where a judge ruled Willis should receive part of his winnings.