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Woman takes on Virginia Lottery after $20K winning ticket voided

The winning lottery ticket a D.C. woman bought worth $20,000 that the Virginia Lottery won't honor, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. (WJLA/Chris Papst)

A Washington, D.C. woman is taking on the Virginia Lottery after she bought a winning ticket worth $20,000 but is not getting the money. The lottery said the ticket was issued in error.

"When I saw that $20,000, you don't know how excited I was," said Ardella Newman.

On Aug. 22, at a lottery machine inside Shoppers in Alexandria, Newman thought she hit it big. On a $2 scratch-off ticket she matched the number 16--for $20,000.

"$20,000 could really, really help me," said Newman. "I have a sister who is in Syracuse. She's very sick. I could help her with her medical bills."

But Newman's dreams of helping her sister disappeared when she tried to cash in the ticket. Lottery officials told her there had been a mistake; the ticket was issued in error.

A normal ticket has the winning numbers on the top. Newman's ticket had the winning numbers on the bottom, suggesting the machine cut the ticket in the wrong spot.

A manager at Shoppers declined to give WJLA 7 On Your Side a comment, but said only trained lottery officials are allowed to load the machines. Newman contends if there was a mistake, that's not her fault; she paid for the ticket and she should get the winnings.

"I want the money that I thought I won. If you look at the ticket, it says I won this money. It wasn't anything that I did wrong. It's what they did wrong," concluded Newman.

Newman filed a complaint with the Virginia Lottery, which is investigating. WJLA 7 On Your Side did reach out to the lottery for comment and has not heard back.

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