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Illegal Immigrant Won California Lottery — But Can’t Cash $525K Check Because He Doesn’t Have Papers

Nine months after winning the California lottery a Mexican immigrant still can’t cash in on the prize because he lacks documentation, such as a passport or identification card.

So what

Anti-immigration advocates have claimed that the current system leads to undocumented immigrants sometimes receiving benefits that should go to Americans.

What happened

Univision34 Los Angeles reported on Wednesday that the Oaxacan native, who requested anonymity, called the local news outlet’s assignment desk desperately seeking help on how to cash a check set to expire on July 30.

  • He’d won the lottery in October but, on the advice of friends who said he wouldn’t be able to collect the reward because of his undocumented status, initially sent another person to attempt to collect the $750,000 award.
  • This triggered an investigation by the California State Lottery, which eventually cleared the man and sent him a check for $525,000 – the amount of the lottery winnings minus state taxes.
  • According to the lottery winner, the check’s expiration date is Friday and he doesn’t have the identification needed to open up a bank account.

Statement: The California State Lottery told Univision34 that undocumented persons are eligible for payouts, as long as they can provide proof of identification as required by law.

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