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Woman’s $2 Scratch-Off Appeared to Win Her $20,000 — Here’s Why She's Not Getting the Cash

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"I want the money."

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Imagine Ardella Newman's glee when she scratched her $2 lottery ticket and found the number 16 matched with $20,000 in winnings.

"You don't know how excited I was," she told WJLA-TV, explaining that she was going to use that money to help her sick sister pay medical bills.

That excitement quickly turned to disappointment though when Newman, who lives in the Washington, D.C., area, learned that her ticket never should have been issued in the first place, at least not in its current format.

Here's more from the news station on what happened:

A normal ticket has the winning numbers on the top. Newman's ticket had the winning numbers on the bottom, suggesting the machine cut the ticket in the wrong spot.

A manager at Shoppers declined to give ABC 7 On Your Side a comment. But said only trained lottery officials are allowed to load the machines.

Newman thinks she's still owed the money though and sent her complaint to the Virginia State Lottery.

"I want the money that I thought I won. If you look at the ticket, it says I won this money. It wasn't anything that I did wrong. It's what they did wrong," Newman told WJLA.

Watch the report:

The Virginia State Lottery spokesman John Hagerty told TheBlaze in an email that while the matter is still under investigation, by his understanding the ticket Newman presented to collect winnings was in two parts.

"One ticket was cut off near the top, and the corresponding top of a different ticket was still attached at the perforation," he explained. "The ticket with the top cut off contained a fully intact barcode and validation code, both of which clearly indicated that it's not a winning ticket. However, she apparently took the number on the top of the ticket below the perforation, and applied it to the larger ticket, to 'mix and match' the numbers on two separate tickets and claim it as a single winning ticket."

Because this is considered a "non-winning ticket" and because two tickets cannot be combined to create a winning ticket, the lottery can not award the prize.

"We certainly understand it can be frustrating to think you have a winning ticket, only to find out that it’s not," Hagerty said, adding that they are investigating if the machine from which the ticket was purchased gave her parts of two tickets.

"The integrity of our products is critical and we take this complaint seriously," he said.

Featured image via Shutterstock. This story has been updated to include more information.

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