Man's $14 Million Lotto Win Allegedly Hijacked By Roommate

Life lesson: Sometimes it's worth keeping good news to yourself.

It was just before Christmas, in the small Californian city of Vacaville. A man, feeling lucky, walked into a grocery store and splashed $42 on a scratch-off lottery ticket.

The odds were very much against him, but miraculously the ticket turned out to be a winner. The man was expecting $US 10,000 ($AU 14,000) to flood into his bank account right in time for Christmas day.

Unable to keep the excitement to himself, the lucky lotto winner returned home to share the shock news with his two roommates.

It turned out to be one of the worst decisions he's ever made.

The following morning, he waltzed into the Sacramento district office of the California State Lottery to collect his thousands of dollars. But the ticket wasn't a winner, and he was told his ticket had been altered, according to local police.

"He suspected one of his roommates must have stolen his winning ticket while he was sleeping and immediately reported the theft to the police department," the Vacaville Police Department said.

The man contacted police and it didn't take long for officers to solve the mystery of the missing winning ticket.

The following day, December 22, the man's 35-year-old roommate, Adul Saosongyang, allegedly tried to cash in on the ticket at the very same lottery office.

An investigation was launched, CCTV footage was watched, and it turns out Saosongyang had purchased a similar scratch card and allegedly swapped it with the winning ticket on the night of the announcement.

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Saosongyang, summoned to the office to collect his winnings, was met by police. He was arrested, charged and thrown in jail until his court appearance.

Adul Saosongyang, 35, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft. Photo: Vacaville Police Department.

In a further twist, the California man had undervalued his winning ticket by several zeros. Instead of $10,000, it was actually worth a whopping $10 million ($AU 14 million).

It seems he's yet to receive the life-changing cash, but police are confident it will all work out in the end.