Acme Markets, Inc. v. Seltzer

In Acme Markets, Inc. v. Seltzer, the Superior Court played the numbers. The resulting opinion — centered on conversion — is well worth the read. A customer went into an Acme supermarket and asked to buy five scratch-off lottery tickets. The employee printed one ticket containing five sets of numbers. The customer looked at the ticket and then asked for five separate tickets with one set of numbers per ticket. The employee complied and put the unwanted ticket to the side. This was a common practice; as soon as any ticket is printed, Acme owes the lottery for that ticket, so Acme puts it aside, and any winnings from discarded tickets go to Acme. This time, though, an Acme employee scratched off the tickets after the winning numbers were published and saw that one ticket was a winner — of more than $4 million. She did what any red-blooded American would do: She paid for the ticket out of her pocket and tried to get the winnings. Acme found out, and this lawsuit resulted. The Superior Court dismissed the employee’s “nonsensical musings” and held that Acme was the rightful owner of the ticket. The Court found that Acme established its claim of conversion and was owed summary judgment in its favor. But what about the customer who rejected the single ticket? Who is that person? A guy who doesn’t have $4 million, that’s who.

Acme-Markets