A store manager hit a lucky streak after stealing thousands of pounds worth of lottery scratch cards from his work.
Daniel Cassells stole 65 packets of cards worth £13,000 from the shop safe, a court heard.
He activated the tickets on the store’s lottery terminal and went on to win substantial amounts of cash over the following six months.
Cassells pocketed £11,000 in winnings from the cards he stole from the Co-operative, and the money was never recovered.
His luck ran out after he left the company and his bosses noticed a massive shortfall in the lottery accounts.
They found CCTV footage of him taking hundreds of scratch cards from the safe then discovered that the same batch numbers had been used to claim prizes in shops in Falkirk, Larbert and near his home in Carstairs, Lanarkshire.
Cassells (29) admitted stealing the lottery cards on repeated occasions between March and August 2014.
At Livingston Sheriff Court he narrowly avoided being sent to prison thanks to a pleading letter from his wife.
Sheriff Peter Anderson gave him an 18-month community payback order.
Cassells must also repay the Co-op £13,000 at the rate of £60 a month. It will take more than 18 years to repay the money in full.
Prosecutor Alistair Macleod said Cassells’s luck ran out after he quit his post as deputy manager at the chain’s Eliburn outlet in Livingston.
He resigned after learning he was about to be dismissed over “performance issues”.
Following his departure, managers became aware of discrepancies in the lottery scratch card trading account and found that thousands of pounds worth of cards had gone missing.
An investigation unearthed CCTV footage of the accused taking 65 packets of cards from the safe and activating them on the lottery terminal
Passing sentence, Sheriff Anderson told Cassells: “You now have to spend much of the rest of your life making up for what you have done.
“You’ve got a lot of making up to do to your wife. It it is her intervention that prevented you from going to jail today.”