California fugitives hoping to collect $1500 in lottery winnings walked into a police sting aimed at serving outstanding felony warrants. The "Fresno County Lottery Commission" sent 3200 letters, claiming to be distributing $78 million in excess lottery funds. The winners were instructed to present identification at the County Fairgrounds.
They arrived to find a balloon and streamer-festooned building, where they left their smiling relatives as one by one they were called into separate rooms to receive their surprise.
Uniformed officers were standing by to explain the hoax and arrest the befuddled fugitives. The operation served 81 felony warrants and 75 arrests, and a surveillance team arrested two men on suspicion of car burglary.