A NEW JERSEY woman has launched an audacious lawsuit against her local TV station, claiming it caused her emotional distress after it read out the wrong numbers for the local lottery.
Rakel Daniele thought she had scooped the $250,000 jackpot in the state-run ‘Mega Millions’ draw on June 19, 2009 when her local TV station WABC read out the winning numbers as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 – with the bonus ‘mega ball’ number of 12.
With Daniele having five of those numbers (her own ‘mega ball’ choice was 6), the Fort Lee woman thought she’d won a $250,000 payout – not helped by the fact that the numbers were repeated on a later broadcast.
Fox News reports that Daniele’s lawsuit – taken against WABC, its owners ABC and Walt Disney, and an unidentified third party – believes the station acted “negligently, carelessly, recklessly and/or intentionally” to broadcast the incorrect numbers twice.
In repeating its error of mistaking placeholder numbers as being the correct result of the draw, the station had gone “beyond all possible bounds of decency” – and was an act considered “atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilised community,” the lawsuit claimed.
Daniele had been “severely damaged” by her reliance on the incorrect results. The correct numbers were actually 4, 9, 12, 16 and 46, with the mega ball of 44.
The Lottery Post said the case is now before a federal court, having been transferred from the state Superior Court last week. The station has refused to comment.