Cops Investigate $10 Million Lottery Ticket In Perry Case

Last month’s homicide of comic book writer Steve Perry has taken a strange turn with reports out of Florida that police were investigating a possible connection between the murder and a winning $10 million lottery ticket. The unclaimed ticket was sold at Harry’s Food Mart, not far from Perry’s Zephyrhills home on May 16th.  The next day Perry was reported missing and soon after that his arm and blood spattered van were found.

Considering that Perry was living a hand-to-mouth existence and suffering from serious medical problems in the months before his murder, the possibility that he was in possession of a winning ticket worth a fortune is a bizarre twist in a bizarre case.

FoxTampaBay is reporting:

After the grisly discoveries, Patel said police were at his store asking if Perry bought a lottery ticket.

“One day the police department guy came in here and he asked me, ‘…do you see that guy?’”

Patel said he told detectives that “..too many customers come in the store. I cannot recognize everybody’s face.”

The winning lottery ticket has yet to be claimed. Shelly Stafford, a Lottery spokeswoman, said, “…it’s not unusual for people to wait for the excitement to die down or to consult with lawyers and financial planners before collecting the jackpot.”

Some of Perry’s friends say, however, it would not be surprising if he was trying to find some quick cash.

“He did come in here mentioning he was living out of his van,” said Buddy McConnell, the owner of a comic book shop not far from Perry’s house. “He had a son and he was trying to get a few things to get groceries. I did help him at times.”

Zephyrhills police are saying nothing about their detectives visit to Patel’s store. In an e-mailed news release, Captain Robert McKinney said, “…we are still waiting on lab results on evidentiary items. At this time there is no updated information…”

It all leaves Peter Patel wondering if that winning lottery ticket is in any way connected to the bizarre case of Stephen Perry.

“We still don’t know the winner…who got the ticket?”

According to the Florida Lottery website, the winner has 180 days to claim the $10 million jackpot — but if that person wants the money in one lump sum, he or she will only have 60 days to claim the prize.

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