Who really owns the $4 million lottery ticket? That is the question that is being asked all over New Bedford and in the local courthouse.

The public can thank a veteran courthouse reporter Curt Brown of the New Bedford Standard-Times for bringing this story to our attention. The owners and managers of media companies should take note of this story and others like it when they make hiring and retention decisions. Great stories come from the accumulated experience and contacts of a journalist and most companies are getting that on the cheap now.

Curt Brown will be my on-air guest Monday, Jan. 27 at 11 am.

A man claims he thought he won $4,000 on a Massachusetts State Lottery scratch ticket but he really won $4 million and was confused because he doesn't read the English language. He claims he did know enough about the law to find someone else to cash the winning ticket for him. It is unclear what he was looking to evade exactly when he plotted a scheme to have another person accept the winnings from the lottery and return the winnings to him in cold hard cash.

Now he is claiming the ticket was actually worth $4 million. The man is claiming the woman he hired to cash his $4,000 lottery ripped him off. He has hired a lawyer and the case is in the courts now. The woman and her partner also have a lawyer and they are contesting the accusations.

I don't know who to believe, and that is why we have courts and journalists.

By his own admission, the man gave his winning ticket to a stranger and trusted the stranger to help him avoid some aspect of the law in exchange for money.

This is looking like a classic fairy tale, with a modern twist, told to children about the perils of greed and dishonesty.

We know all of this because of a veteran court journalist. Never forget that you and I know this because of an experienced journalist who knows how to dig out a story. The real lesson is for media executives and the perils of greed and shortsightedness.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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