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A guy sought to buy $120 in lottery tickets at a gas station in Deltona on Oct. 27. He tried to pay with a card, and the card machine took a comparatively long time attempting to read it. Finally the machine said “invalid.”

But the store clerk had already handed the tickets to the fellow, and, when his card was declined, Would- Be Winner ran out of the store with the tickets and drove away.

So here’s a tip for clerks and others handling lottery sales: DON’T LET THE CUSTOMER HOLD THE TICKETS UNTIL THE SALE HAS BEEN APPROVED!

(Actually Would-Be Winner pretty surely Won’t Be a Winner, because the Sheriff’s Office obtained the tracking number for the stolen tickets — so Would- Be won’t be able to cash any of them in.)

— By Keith Allen, based on local police-agency reports. If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers, 1-888-277- TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward.

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