Home Lotto Town dubbed ‘Sue City’ over $12.4m lotto win after store worker found ticket

Town dubbed ‘Sue City’ over $12.4m lotto win after store worker found ticket

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Town dubbed ‘Sue City’ over $12.4m lotto win after store worker found ticket

A LOTTERY win saw an employee sued by her co-workers after she scooped $12.5million in a stroke of luck.

Ionia Klein from Gregory, South Dakota stumbled upon a discarded lottery ticket at Mr. G’s convenience store where she worked part-time.

Ionia Klein won $12.4million in a stroke of luck but it quickly turned into 'Sue City'

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Ionia Klein won $12.4million in a stroke of luck but it quickly turned into ‘Sue City’Credit: Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
The Owners of Mr. G's and an employee filed lawsuits against Klein following her win

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The Owners of Mr. G’s and an employee filed lawsuits against Klein following her winCredit: Facebook/Mr. G’s

After purchasing the ticket and calling the lottery commission to confirm her win, Klein’s luck took a turn for the worse.

What followed saw the small town of Gregory dubbed Sue City as co-workers turned on her, according to The Chicago Tribune.

In April 1991, Klein, then 32 years old and struggling financially, found the winning ticket next to the register the day after the draw was announced.

She discovered that the winning numbers matched those on the $5 ticket and luckily found the money in her purse to buy it and claim it as her own.

Just three days before, a customer had asked store clerk Robin Parsons for five $1 tickets, but she misheard and printed one $5 ticket.

The customer rejected the ticket, instead wanting the correct order and so it was by the register for three days while Clerks tried and failed to sell it to customers.

Two days after claiming the ticket as hers, Klein was announced the winner of the multi-million dollar jackpot.

”It was just like finding a ticket on the street, except that I paid for it,” Klein told the Chicago Tribune.

“All the numbers matched, so I bought it.”

However, Parsons filed a lawsuit and claimed that the jackpot was hers, given that it was her responsibility to pay for the misprinted ticket due to her mistake.

Meanwhile, Scott and Julie Anshutz and Mike and Diane Dacy, the owners of Mr. G’s, also claimed that the ticket was rightfully theirs.

They made this claim given that they paid Lotto America, the Des Moines-based organization, for all unpaid and misprinted tickets.

Lawyers in the small town which had a population of just 1,432 were suddenly busy with work and residents joked that they lived in “Sue City.”

In July 1991, an out-of-court settlement was reached with the Anschutz and the Dacy couple.

They were awarded 58 percent of the split, according to court documents obtained by the news outlet.

The Anshutz and the Dacy couples were given $125,000 each and then a remaining split of $151,000 in annuity payments for 19 years.

Klein would get $209,328 for each of the following 19 years.

Meanwhile, Parsons’s lawsuit was dismissed in August after a ruling, per court documents.

Lottery officials declared that Klein had not broken the law or done anything that would’ve made the ticket not rightfully hers.

Deb Mortenson, public relations director for the state lottery commission, confirmed at the time to The New York Times.

“It’s our opinion that the ticket met all the security and validity tests,” she said.

Klein and her husband, Bob, who was 38 at the time and with whom she shared four children, had a yearly income of around $7,000 before finding the winning ticket.

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”It worked out pretty good,” she said.

Klein, who has since died bought a 160-acre farm south of Gregory, new clothes for the family, some furniture, a 30-inch TV, a 1987 car, a 1980 pickup, and a 1984 motor home.

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