East St. Louis woman busted for stealing lottery scratch-off tickets

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – With no winners yet, the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots have crossed $550 million and $440 million, respectively, and people are buying tickets like crazy to try their luck.

One East St. Louis woman took things a little too far trying to get rich quick. She disregarded the number one rule in playing the lottery – you have to pay to play.

There’s a certain thrill you get scouring a scratcher. But one area woman apparently couldn’t get enough.

Toni Dickerson, 34, was arrested for allegedly pocketing a whole stack of scratcher tickets from the Circle K where she worked at 2700 McCausland.

Customers said they remember Dickerson working there for about two months.

“I think I’ve seen her once before, but they kind of have a bunch of people working here. They come and they go,” said customer Steve Porter.

A gas station employee said Dickerson stole 128 scratchers, exactly $1,400 worth of tickets.

According to court documents, Dickerson was caught on store surveillance playing the lottery tickets as she worked on Christmas Eve.

“Sounds like she got what was coming to her,” Porter said.

Officials at the Missouri Lottery are reminding people to play responsibly and urging people “Play within your means, it only takes a dollar to win.”

“We want people to be prudent with their money and only play with money set aside for entertainment,” said Susan Goedde, Communications Manager at the Missouri Lottery.

According to state lottery authorities, once scratcher tickets are reported stolen they can catch the person trying to cash them in.