8 Years Later, Scratch Ticket Winners Still Waiting For Pay Off
BOSTON (CBS) – Imagine scratching a lottery ticket that says you’ve won the chance to become a millionaire.
It had at least one local couple dreaming big.
“My dream was, we’re going to buy the house that we never had,” says Nick Zeogas. The problem is, he’s not sure he’ll live to see it happen.
Nearly eight years ago, Zoegas bought a Texas Hold ‘Em scratch ticket and won a lucky seat at a virtual poker game with a grand prize of $10 million.
“We celebrated, we smiled, we kissed each other,” says the 79-year-old looking at his wife next to him. He says the Lottery Commission told him it would happen in one year.
“Then a year went by, two years, three years went by. I called up. ‘What’s going on?’”
The Director of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, Paul Sternberg, says back when the game was designed, it was expected to sell faster.
“That was the right game back then. Now, I wouldn’t do a run that size,” he says.
The virtual poker game needs 560 winners to be seated. After nearly eight years, there are only 509 winners, which is still not enough.
“I’m trying to live it out,” says Zeogas.
Lottery records show four winners have died during the long wait.
“I can give it to my son. He can have his party, but what about the party I thought I was going to have?”
Sternberg now promises Zeogas and hundreds of other winners will finally get their shot at the millions.
The Lottery Commission is planning to throw a big party in April. To fill the vacant seats, they’re picking names from a pool of people who won smaller prizes on the same scratch ticket.
If it sounds like a grand plan, Zeogas isn’t getting his hopes up. He’s heard this promise before.
Last year, the Lottery told WBZ it would happen last fall. It never did.
“My dream is that I still win something, and I hope I’m here long enough to give it to my wife so she can have that dream too.”