I won part of a $1 million lottery jackpot — but I “lost it all” when my past crimes caught up with me

A COUPLE have been convicted after using money stolen from their former employer to buy a $1 million lottery ticket.

Joan Lechleitner and her fiancé Kerry Titus used the money to pay for a new pickup truck and a honeymoon trip to Mexico after winning the 2015 ticket.

A couple have been convicted of theft after using stolen money to buy a $1 million lottery ticket


A couple have been convicted of theft after using stolen money to buy a $1 million lottery ticketPhoto credit: Getty

But the next year, the couple and two others were accused of stealing from a retailer where they worked in Cressona, Pennsylvania, a town about 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

In total, the thieves stole more than $175,000 from the Agway farm supplies store, the New York Post reported

The couple, from nearby Pottsville, were caught in the act after surveillance cameras were installed at the store.

The owner reportedly had to borrow money to prevent the closure of the site where Titus was once a manager.

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Lechleitner used some of this stolen money to purchase a winning Cash 5 ticket.

Four winners split the money equally, bringing her home approximately $260,000.

But the good times didn’t last long for Lechleitner and Titus, as they pleaded guilty to theft in 2017.

The couple managed to avoid jail time, but they had to serve 23 months of house arrest and three more years of probation, the Republican Herald reported.

Her accomplices – Samantha Schaeffer, 25, and Tyler Schappell, 21 – have also been charged.

They entered a rehabilitation program that would have allowed them to have their charges dismissed if they had successfully completed it.

Lechleitner and Titus aren’t the first lottery winners whose lives go awry after taking home a big jackpot.

Kentucky resident David Lee Edwards thought he had it when he won $27 million in 2001.

But just 12 years later the man died in hospice care after contracting hepatitis.

He had lost everything to shopping sprees and an intense drug addiction.

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PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: paulleblanc@dailynationtoday.com.

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