It's not particularly likely that you'll wind up winning the lottery, but if you do, there are some important things you need to take care of: First, sign the back of it to claim it as yours, stick it somewhere safe and secure, hire some financial planners and lawyers or whatever, and get ready for your life to change forever.
Here's what you definitely shouldn't do: Brag about the win to your sketchy ass roommates, and then immediately go to sleep with the lottery ticket sitting out in plain sight. That's what an apparently hyper-trusting guy in California did after winning big last month—and now, as pretty much anyone could have predicted, it's coming back to bite him, the Washington Post reports.
On December 20, the man (whose identity hasn't been revealed) decided to drop $30 on a lotto ticket at a grocery store. When he scratched it off, he discovered that it was a goddamn winner, and raced home to brag about his $10,000 windfall to his roommates. But that night, his roommate Adul Saosongyang allegedly snuck into the guy's bedroom and swapped the winning ticket with a decoy while he slept.
In the morning, the man tried to cash what he thought was his ticket, but the California State Lottery office told him it wasn't a winner. Confused, and presumably freaking the fuck out, he headed back home to try to figure out what happened. According to authorities, Saosongyang showed up at the same office a day later with the actual ticket. Turns out it wasn't just worth $10,000—it was actually a $10 million winner.
Luckily, given that the win was so massive, the lottery automatically opened a routine investigation, and Saosongyang's alleged scam started falling apart.
"At this point, the Lottery was unaware this ticket had been reported stolen and began their administrative investigation that is done on all winnings over $600," the Vacaville Police Department wrote on Facebook. "When the Lottery Investigator went to Lucky in Vacaville to obtain video surveillance footage of the original purchase they were told the ticket might be stolen… They determined the roommate had purchased a similar Scratcher Lottery Ticket, altered it, and swapped it with the winning ticket."
Saosongyang has been arrested and slapped with grand theft charges, and the big-ass lotto ticket has been returned to its rightful owner, who—if he knows what's good for him—can use his $10 million winnings to make sure he never has to live with shitty roommates again.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.