Scammed lottery winner awarded

2010-02-17 08:00

Austin - A district judge says nearly $400 000 seized from the accounts of a man who stole a Texas maintenance worker's lottery ticket must be handed to the scammed jackpot winner.

Authorities are searching for the convenience store clerk who they believe stole the ticket from Willis Willis when he asked for confirmation that he had won $1m. Pankaj Joshi is believed to have fled to his native Nepal after receiving a check for $750 000.

Austin police and the Travis County Attorney's Office have seized or frozen about $395 000 from Joshi's accounts and gifts to his relatives in the US.

On Tuesday the judge ordered those funds to be given to Willis, who says he wants to pay off medical bills, pay his daughter's college tuition and buy new golf clubs.