Lottery decision disappoints Grand Prairie man

November 4, 2009 | In The News

By Darla Miles, WFAA-TV

Willis Willis – the Grand Prairie man whose million-dollar lottery ticket was cashed in by a convenience store clerk – said he was greeted with disdain during a five-minute sit-down meeting with the Texas Lottery Commission.

“They made no offer to correct it, or say, ‘We will do this, well give you this’ or anything. Nothing to that effect. It was ‘No, we feel who brought the ticket is the winner’,” Willis said.

In May, store clerk Pankaj Joshi told Willis he had only won $2, but investigators believe Joshi fled the country with the winnings.

Willis said the commission’s ruling was more hurtful than the theft itself: “Now, I dont see how you can say that I wasnt [the winner] when its been proven that I am.”

According to the Travis County District Attorney’s office Willis is the winner, and they have indicted Joshi for the theft.

They say if they can reach an agreement with the Texas Lottery Commission, they will turn over to Willis the $365,000 they have already recovered from Joshis bank accounts.

Now Willis attorneys are considering suing the Texas Lottery Commission, lottery administrator GTECH, and the owners of Lucky Food Store #2, where Joshi worked.

But Willis isnt losing hope. He bought another Mega Millions ticket on Tuesday.

“Hopefully I can pull another rabbit out of the hat,” he said.

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