Initially, the victor thought it was worth $10,000.
When he got home, he excitedly told his two roommates about his luck.
"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", a police statement said.
The next day, his suspicions were confirmed when his roommate, identified as 35-year-old Adul Saosongyang, attempted to cash in the winning ticket at the same Sacramento office.
While the investigation revealed that the ticked handed in by Saosongyang was indeed real, it also established that his room-mate was the real victor, the Washington Post writes.
The following day, Saosongyang attempted to cash in the ticket, where he was told by the shop-worker that it was actually a whopping $10million victor, 10,000 times more what he and the card's owner believed it to be worth.
A California man was arrested Monday after replacing his roommate's winning lottery ticket with a fake one and trying to cash in what turned out to be a $10 million ticket, authorities said.
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After getting hold of CCTV footage from the store the card was bought from, the Lottery Investigator and cops from Vacaville Police Department worked together to get to the bottom of what had happened.
The roommate purchased the ticket on December 20 at a grocery store. It was worth US$10 million (NZ$15 million).
Turns out, according to Vacaville police, the man's ticket was not his ticket.
After further investigation by a lottery investigator and detective police department, it also found that Saosongyang purchased a similar ticket, had it altered and swapped with the original ticket.
On Monday, the investigator summoned Saosongyang to the Sacramento office to collect his winnings.
"That's definitely not the prize he was expecting", they wrote on Facebook on Tuesday after the suspect was charged with grand theft and booked into jail.
"Then we can give him his money", Lopez said. He said he couldn't be certain that the man would receive payment.