When Jonathan Tonniges decided to alter a losing lottery ticket as a prank on his fiancee, he never dreamed he would be facing felony fraud charges that would have sent him to prison for the next two decades.
He had told, fiancee April Fogelman that the ticket was a loser; what he did not tell her was that he had altered the ticket to make it look like a $35,000 winner. Puzzled, April took the ticket to a gas station who could not explain how it can be a loser either. At the station’s suggestion April took the ticket to the Lottery headquarters, where she was told that the ticket had been altered, so she left.
Lottery officials were apparently not amused, and soon two investigators accosted April on her way back to her car, threatening her with arrest. The charges later leveled at the pair were only dropped when prosecutors realized that they cannot refute the couple’s explanations.
This may be something practical jokers would be well advised to take note of: when pranks seem all too real, real consequences may not be far behind.