MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A retired welder in Milwaukee says the Wisconsin lottery owes him $2,000 but the agency contends his scratch-off tickets were misprinted and not truly winners.
Ivory Mitchell, 64, said on Tuesday he purchased five $2 crossword scratch-off tickets on July 20 and that two of them turned out to be $1,000 winners.
"I was ecstatic. I thought I was going to have a heart attack," said Mitchell, who has been playing scratch-off lottery games since 1972.
But when he took the tickets to lottery offices in Milwaukee, officials there told him the tickets were misprinted and that he did not win $2,000, Mitchell said.
The Wisconsin Lottery said in a statement on Tuesday the misprint was due to a vendor printing error that did not affect if someone won, which is determined by a scan of the ticket's barcode.
The lottery said it would reimburse players for their defective $2 tickets. Mitchell said he filled out a claim form and expects to hear back from lottery officials within 30 days.
The retired welder who is on dialysis and lives on money from disability checks said he would use the money to fix his roof, gutters and fence.
"It would mean a lot to me," he said.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Bill Trott)