Winn-Dixie store clerk arrested for giving 'customer' $5 instead of $600 for winning lottery ticket

"Customer" was undercover lottery agent

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Authorities arrested a Winn-Dixie clerk for trying to steal a winning Florida Lottery ticket from a "customer."

Police say a man gave a ticket to 42-year-old Crystelle Baton on Monday to scan. When Baton scanned the ticket at a Winn-Dixie Liquors store in Fort Myers, officials say she learned the ticket was worth $600.

Investigators say Baton did not give the man the correct winnings, but instead pulled five dollars from her purse and told him that was what the ticket had won.

The Florida Lottery Commission says Baton was not attempting to scam a regular customer but an undercover agent from its security division conducting a random visit.

Authorities say the Florida Lottery regularly conducts undercover visits to make sure retailers are following the law.

Police arrested Baton for Grand Theft. Officers later found the winning ticket in her notebook.

Winn-Dixie released a statement regarding Baton's arrest: "We are taking this matter very seriously as the trust and safety of our customers is our highest priority. The associate's employment has been terminated."

On its website, the Florida Lottery warns customers to sign the back of their tickets as soon as you purchase them to prevent someone else from claiming your prize.

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