Lottery addict spent $1m at his own convenience store

lottery-addict-convenience-storeA convenience store owner says he wants his life to serve as a cautionary tale about the addictive lure of lottery tickets.

Adam Osmond, a 49-year-old accountant from Connecticut, used to own a convenience store. Osmond told the Daily Mail he started buying lottery tickets from his own shop due in part to the mind-numbing tedium of manning the cash register from dawn till dusk.

For years, Osmond’s lottery jones was satisfied by playing a few dollars’ worth per day. But gradually, his habit escalated to the point where he was spending “thousands” each week and reinvesting any winnings – along with his regular income – into more lottery tickets.

Osmond says his worst lottery-playing years were between 2002 and 2008, during which he played the lottery constantly, seven days a week. Osmond estimates that he lost over $1m playing the lottery and characterized his job as “like having your own casino, it was me and the machine all the time.”

In late 2007, Osmond bagged a $50k winning ticket, from which he netted $37,500 after tax. Within a week, Osmond said he’d blown the lot, as well as the income generated by the store.

In March 2008, Osmond said he suffered a nervous breakdown while printing out 54k lottery tickets in a single day. Osmond said he never even checked to see if any of the tickets were winners, in part because the task seemed insurmountable, but also because he lacked the money to pay for the tickets.

Over the next three weeks, Osmond printed out $250k worth of tickets before the Connecticut Lottery realized something was amiss and revoked his lottery permit. Osmond’s business folded soon after.

Osmond made good faith efforts to repay the Lottery until the courts intervened, saying that since the tickets were never cashed, the repayment was unnecessary and Osmond was off the hook.

Osmond says the moral of the story is that “addiction can happen to anyone. It will start small and then get bigger until it takes over your life.” Huh… And here we thought the moral was pick a form of gambling in which you actually stand a reasonable chance of winning.