A 25-year-old convenience store clerk suspected of stealing a customer's $1 million winning lottery ticket has cashed it and may have left the country, authorities said.
Police have seized more than $365,000 deposited in banks by Pankaj Joshi, a University of Texas at Arlington student who quit his job at a Grand Prairie convenience store in June, according to court documents.
Investigators said a 67-year-old customer came to the Lucky Food Store, 902 Great Southwest Parkway, in May to have a Mega Millions ticket and two Cash 5 tickets scanned, because he had not been able to locate the winning numbers.
Joshi scanned the tickets -- the Mega Millions ticket was a $1 million winner -- but only gave the customer $2 for one of the Cash 5 tickets. Joshi later went to Austin and cashed in the Mega Millions ticket, receiving $750,000 after taxes, a search warrant affidavit said.
Authorities are looking into the possibility that Joshi has gone back to his native Nepal or elsewhere in South Asia, said Hector Gomez, the supervisory deputy U.S. marshal in Austin.
"So he has a bit of a head start on us. But he's still only one mistake away from getting caught. It's early in the investigation and we are still developing information about his relatives, family and the places where he likes to hang out."
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