Some lucky motorists in Florida received a different kind of ticket when they were pulled over by traffic officers with the Melbourne Police Department on Christmas Day.
Instead of speeding tickets, 30 drivers were given scratch-off lottery tickets. It was a way for the Melbourne Police Department to change the public’s attitude toward police while spreading some Christmas cheer.
"In the spirit of the season here, most people expect to get a traffic ticket when they get stopped. In this case, they were surprised to get a scratch-off ticket instead," Melbourne Police Department Sgt. Sheridan Shelley told ABC News. Shelley said the department initially planned on letting motorists off with a warning before coming up with the idea to hand out scratch-off lottery tickets to select motorists who were pulled over.
Melbourne Police Sgt. Jamie Rocque told Florida Today that the funds for the lottery tickets came out of the officers’ own pockets.
“We’re just doing a little bit of a different technique,” he said, adding that some of the lucky motorists were left speechless. “When we pull the motorists over, we’re also giving them the scratch-off tickets that the officers bought with their own personal funds. It’s something good to do in light of the holidays. We’re getting a lot of surprised looks … people don’t know what to say.”
There hasn't been any word if any of the scratch-off recipients got lucky from the tickets.
“I don’t know, but we wish them well,” Rocque said.
Any motorists on the road in Melbourne shouldn’t expect the same luck, according to Shelley.
"I can tell you right now that no one is getting lottery tickets today," the sergeant said. "Hopefully, nobody has it in their mind to speed and expect to receive a lotto ticket. That was a one-shot deal for Christmas."