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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:24 pm
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Location: North America
Very sad. And incredibly stupid.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A woman stole $2.3 million (1.2 million pounds) from her employers and spent the money on lottery tickets, buying as much as $6,000 worth of tickets a day in a bid to hit the jackpot, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Annie Donnelly, 38, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to stealing the money over 3 1/2 years from her employer, Great South Bay Surgical Associates, where she was a bookkeeper.

She was spending about $6,000 on lottery tickets a day, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's office said. It was not clear how much, if any, she won.

"I don't think I'll ever see anyone spend that much money again," said a shop assistant named Shawn, who works at the MK Cards Gifts and Cellphones store in Ronkonkoma, New York, where Donnelly bought her tickets. Contacted by telephone, he declined to give his last name.

Donnelly, who lives in Farmingville, New York, a New York City suburb on Long Island, faces at least four years in prison and could serve as many as 12 years after pleading guilty to grand larceny, the district attorney's spokeswoman said.

Donnelly did not post bail and remains in custody. Sentencing is on September 20.

Donnelly was caught after several business checks bounced, raising the suspicions of her employers.

The New York Lottery gives about 56 percent of its revenues in prizes, and a third of its revenues, or $2.2 billion in fiscal 2005 to 2006, to education in the state. The rest goes to commissions, fees, and other expenses.

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