Video: Couple told winning lottery ticket a misprint

updated 5/18/2007 12:07:44 PM ET 2007-05-18T16:07:44

The Florida Lottery is refusing to pay a $500,000 prize until it can inspect the $20 scratch-off ticket, which officials said Thursday appears to be a misprint.

Joe Curcio, 56, says he got the ticket at a service plaza Sunday on Florida's Turnpike.

The Gold Rush ticket has the numeral 1 on the top row and a numeral 1 above the $500,000 scratch-off piece, making the ticket appear to be a winner. But when Curcio had it scanned, the ticket's bar code indicated it wasn't.

Curcio, who owns a used car dealership, said lottery officials told him the top number actually was a "13" that was misprinted.

"They're saying it's a misprint. How do I know it's a misprint?" he asked. He has hired an attorney to press his claim.

Lottery spokeswoman Jacqueline Barreiros said Curcio still needed to turn over the ticket for a full inspection.

"We can't say whether we will pay the jackpot or not until we go through the process," she said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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