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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

CONTACT: FLORIDA LOTTERY COMMUNICATIONS
(850) 487-7727

FLORIDA LOTTERY RETAILER ARRESTED FOR TICKET THEFT

TALLAHASSEE - Agents with the Florida Lottery's Division of Security conducted an undercover investigation that led to the arrest today of a Florida Lottery retailer. Store owner Silvia C. Calleja, of La Rampa Supermarket, located at 2925 N.W. 27th Avenue in Miami, was arrested and charged with grand theft, a third degree felony.

As part of the Florida Lottery's Retailer Integrity Program, an investigation was conducted by the Lottery's Division of Security on a retailer suspected of stealing tickets from players. Calleja was presented with what appeared to be a Lottery ticket, but told an undercover agent that the ticket was not a winner. Calleja's husband later attempted to cash the ticket and was arrested.

"The Florida Lottery will not tolerate fraudulent activity by our players or retailers. The integrity of the Florida Lottery is our top priority," said Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell. "The action taken today is part of our on-going retailer integrity efforts to combat illegal activity."

The Florida Lottery encourages players to protect themselves and their tickets by signing the back of their ticket upon purchase, checking their own ticket to see if it's a winner and watching the monitor while the ticket is being validated by a retailer. The Florida Lottery introduced a new "winning sound" to its terminal system earlier this month. Whenever a winning Scratch-Off or Terminal game ticket is presented for validation, the Terminal will play a distinct sound indicating that the ticket is a winner. If there is a question about the ticket being a winner or the prize amount won, players should ask that the original ticket be returned to them, then contact the Florida Lottery Customer Service Office at (850) 487-7787.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA LOTTERY

The Florida Lottery is responsible for contributing more than $27 billion to education and sending more than 650,000 students to college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery reinvests nearly 98 percent of its revenue back into Florida's economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Florida retailers and transfers to education. Since 1988, Florida Lottery games have paid more than $37 billion in prizes and made more than 1,300 people millionaires. For more information, please visit www.flalottery.com.

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