Nearly every day for a decade, Jack Lavoie purchased lottery tickets at the Ivy Farms Road Shell station in Newport News. He saw the managers and clerks more like family.
“You build a trust,” said Lavoie. “That's what I thought it was.”
That's why he said he felt so betrayed by Susan Perez, a store clerk he's known for years. According to a July 9, 2012 indictment, Perez tricked Lavoie out of a lottery ticket worth $600 in March.
Lavoie said the day he bought the ticket, he said he told Perez he thought he had won $40.
“She goes, ‘Yeah the lottery machines are messed up. You won $40.’ And I didn’t get a receipt or anything.”
“My son calls me from California,” Lavoie continued. “And he says, 'Dad, congratulations!' And I said, 'For what?' And he said, 'You had four of the numbers.' I said, 'No. I had three.' He goes, 'No. You play all the kids’ birthdays.' He said, 'You won $150 times four is $600.'”
Lavoie said he went back to the gas station, thinking Perez would have no problem correcting the mistake.
“I went back up there and all of a sudden she said the ticket got lost,” said Lavoie. “So we're actually digging through the trash can looking, and the owner comes out and he says go to the lottery. And that's what I did.”
The Virginia Lottery's investigation led to Perez’s indictment on felony larceny charges.
“If she needed money, all she had to do is ask me,” said Lavoie. “I'd have given it to her.”
NewsChannel 3 reached out to Perez but didn't hear anything back. The store manager said she doesn't work there anymore. Perez will be back in court August 13, 2012.