Ward Thomas of Long Beach, California has launched a suit against the California Lottery Commission over their denial of his $5 million win, as his son was underage when he bought the Scratcher on behalf of his father. Thomas is also suing the gas station where it was purchased. It was on Thursday this week that Thomas filed his suit against the state lottery at the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Long Beach man sues state lottery and gas station for his loss

As reported by the LA Times, Thomas had $330 worth of Scratchers’ wins when he visited a Los Altos Mobil gas station in October last year.

While he was busy outside, he sent his teenage son, 16-year-old Benjamin, into the Mobil Mart to claim the winnings for the scratch tickets and to purchase some more. One of those tickets turned out to be worth a huge $5 million. Benjamin cashed in the tickets, while purchasing another five Scratchers at $20 each, and taking the balance in cash.

Scratch shows a $5 million win for California man

When both father and teenage son arrived home, they scratched the new tickets to find one of them was a $5 million win. Later that same night, Thomas visited a local 7-Eleven store to validate the winning ticket and visited a Lottery district office the next day to revalidate his win. Officials there confirmed that he was a $5 million winner.

State lottery refuses to pay up the California man's $5 million

However as noted by ABC 7 Eyewitness News, it turns out the state lottery doesn’t just hand the money over. They investigate all the circumstances surrounding the purchase of the winning ticket. Surveillance video from the gas station showed 16-year-old Benjamin had bought the tickets, which is illegal under California law, as only people 18 years or older can purchase lottery tickets.

Thomas was told by the Commission on December 5 that for this reason, he was not entitled to the $5 million win.

Teenage son was never asked for proof of his age

According to Thomas’s suit against the California Lottery Commission, the Mobil gas station clerk never asked his son for proof of age and no one had told Benjamin he couldn’t purchase the tickets on behalf of his father.

Thomas is alleging the clerk had sold the ticket to his teenage son without any intention of paying out the winnings. The unhappy lottery “winner” is now looking for over $50,000 in damages, on top of the loss of the $5 million and also damages for breach of contract on the part of the Mobil gas station.