Cop wins lottery, but department policy forces him to give money to city

Officer Mike Brewster hit it big with a $1,000,000 lottery scratcher ticket. But now he has to give the money up because he purchased the ticket on-duty.Department policy has a section about profiting from on-duty activities.

Million-taxesAccording to officer Brewster he stopped at a local gas station to buy a soda in the middle of his shift. As the clerk was ringing him up the display case of scratchers caught his eye. “The prize was a million bucks, with the lottery paying the taxes, so you actually get all that money. The scratcher only costs $10 so I asked the girl to get me one.”

Dispatch called the officer out to a drunk driving crash, so he put the card in his pocket and forgot about it till he got off-duty. “When I got home I was taking off my uniform and found the ticket. So I scraped it off and sure enough I hit the jackpot! I was a millionaire!”

He contacted the lottery office later that day. After the card was verified the lottery stated the process for the payout. Unfortunately part of the process was a talking to the press. Officer Brewster recounted his story of buying the ticket when working for the city. They mayor read the story and called the city attorney.

“The police chief called me into his office” Brewster recounts “the Chief tells me that policy says if we make a profit from on-duty activities that money needs to be forfeited to the city. Thus by policy my lottery winnings are city money. Apparently the city attorney had already filed paperwork with the state lottery office so payout was already being directed to the city general fund.”

Brewster asked about the fact the ticket was purchased on-duty but it was not scratched off till he was off-duty. So in his mind the act of winning was not done on city time. City officials say it does not matter, the act was initiated when he was on the clock.

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