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Clerk charged in lottery dispute

WESTBOROUGH -- A convenience store clerk has been charged with larceny for allegedly snatching a winning $20,000 lottery ticket from a customer's hand and giving her only $100.

Antoine Y. Reiche, 34, of Westborough, was arrested Thursday night and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in Westborough District Court on a charge of larceny over $250.

On Friday, the State Lottery Commission suspended the Quik Mart's lottery sales license over the flap, the MetroWest Daily News reported.

Erika Schmitt, 18, alleged that she went to the store and bought a $2 Lucky Star ticket Monday night. The University of Massachusetts freshman said that when she scratched it in the store, she uncovered 10 stars, which merits the game's $20,000 grand prize. But when she told the clerk, he allegedly grabbed the ticket and told her it showed only six stars, which had a $100 prize. He refused to show her the ticket when she demanded to see it.

"He wouldn't give the ticket back," said Virginia Orlando, Schmitt's friend who was with her that night. "He said, `Get out, get out. Go spend your money.' "

Schmitt bought a second ticket to verify the game rules, and then went to police. An officer escorted her back to the store and confronted Reiche, who said he verified the winning ticket, paid Schmitt her winnings, and threw the ticket away. The winning 10-star ticket has not been located.

The Lottery Commission confirmed that the book of tickets from which Schmitt purchased her ticket had one $20,000 winning ticket. The ticket has not been cashed.

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