Susan Perez, Virginia Convenience Store Clerk, Charged With Taking Man's Lottery Ticket Winnings (VIDEO)

07/26/2012 05:26 pm ET | Updated Jul 28, 2012

A man in Newport News, Virginia, who thought of employees at a nearby convenience store "like family" is upset after he says one of them shortchanged him on a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket.

Jack Lavoie had gone to the Shell station almost every day for the past ten years, reports WTKR, and purchased a lottery ticket.

When he went to redeem a winning ticket earlier this year in March, he says the clerk, Susan Perez, gave him $40 for a ticket he later realized was actually worth $600. Then Perez allegedly cashed the ticket and kept the $600, which is a felony, as WVEC points out.

Lavoie didn't even realize he'd be shortchanged on the ticket until his son called to congratulate him. His son reminded Lavoie he always plays his kids' birthdays, which accounted for four of the winning numbers -- worth $150 each, for a total of $600.

"The lottery takes very seriously any allegation of fraud," Virginia Lottery spokesman John Hagerty told WAVY. "The lottery does prosecute any violation of the law or alleged violation of the law related to the lottery."

Perez has been charged with larceny of a lottery ticket, and will go to trial sometime in August, reports WAVY.

Mega Millions officials recommend players always sign the backs of their tickets, which proves ownership in the event they're lost or misplaced.

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