An elderly woman has opened up about her shocking experience after her 500,000 euros winning scratch card was allegedly stolen by the shop owner she purchased it from.

The pensioner, who is in her 60s, purchased two scratch cards in a tobacco shop before realizing she had won the top prize worth half a million euros, Mirror reported.

The lady says that after she asked employees to verify her card, owner Gaetano Scutellaro, 57, just ran off with it.

Gaetano Scutellaro. Image: Corriere

Border police later prevented Scutellaro from catching a flight to the Canary Islands, Italian media reported.

After running away with the card, the owner hopped on his scooter and raced through Naples.

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A manhunt was then launched to find Scutellaro.

Two days after he committed the crime, the man was arrested at the Fiumicino Airport as he tried to hop on a flight out of Italy.

Gaetano Scutellaro. Image: Corriere
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According to LaPresse, he was not carrying the card with him, but he had a plane ticket for Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands.

After he was stopped by police, he revealed that the ticket was in a bank in the city of Latina – a couple of hours away from Naples.

Gaetano Scutellaro. Image: Corriere

Interestingly, he claimed the money actually belonged to him and said the scratch card had been his.

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In addition, he also said he planned to report the woman for libel.

According to LaPresse, Scutellaro has been released on bail.

In order to prevent anyone from illegally cashing in the money, authorities have frozen the entire block of card numbers that had been delivered to the man’s shop.

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The case is currently being investigated.

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