A man who says he accidentally gave away a winning $4 million lottery ticket said yesterday he'll go back to court a second time to try to reclaim the money from the store clerk who turned it in.
A Barnstable Superior Court judge declared a mistrial in the case Wednesday after jurors were unable to agree who should get the winnings.
Raymond MacDonald, a retiree from Falmouth, and his neighbor, Monica Hertz, said the winning scratch ticket from the Massachusetts Lottery was among 45 tickets they bought May 17, 2002.
But Julie Prive, a clerk at the convenience store where the ticket was sold, said she is the rightful winner.
Prive regularly collected discarded tickets to enter in the Clean Fun Sweepstakes, the lottery's second-chance game designed to keep used tickets from becoming litter. She said she found the $4 million winner while double-checking the discarded tickets.
MacDonald and Hertz sued Prive to try to stop her from collecting the winnings, $200,000 a year for 20 years, before taxes.
During a press conference yesterday at the office of his lawyer, Leigh-Ann Patterson, MacDonald said he plans to pursue a second trial.
"I felt that I couldn't let this happen to me," he said. "Out of principle, I just can't let it go."
MacDonald said he did not realize he had a winner among the stack of tickets he bought that day. He handed the scratched tickets over to Prive after she asked him whether she could enter them in the Clean Fun Sweepstakes.
"I just missed the match, and it was a mistake," he said.
He said he never scratched off the portion of the ticket that reveals the prize amount because he believed it was a losing ticket.
Prive's lawyer, Jeremy Carter, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
During the trial, MacDonald testified that he plays the lottery two or three times a day, spending more than $100. He won a $2 million jackpot from a scratch ticket in 1997.
The Prives have been paid $600,000 so far, before taxes. Lottery officials have said they plan to continue paying the Prives unless a court tells them do otherwise.