A college student in Elmira, New York, said he was offended when he scratched off a lottery ticket that read, "You Elmira trash."
The New York Gaming Commission insisted the "Wheel of Fortune" ticket was completely random -- a 1 in 900 million chance -- but the ticket's purchaser said that didn't lessen the initial impact.
"I was shocked," Nick Lynough, 22, told ABC News today. "I thought it was fake and tampered with.
"I was disrespected by it," he added. "I thought it was a joke."
Since Lynough thought the ticket had been altered, Sheriff Christopher Moss of the Chemung County Sheriff's Office said his department decided to "look into it."
While Moss told ABC News it didn't look like a case of tampering, he added, "Sometimes it's hard to tell."
Moss said the sheriff's office forwarded a copy to the New York State Lottery, and learned on Wednesday that it was actually a legitimate ticket.
Gaming commission spokesman Lee Park told ABC News in a statement: "The New York Gaming Commission has confirmed that the unfortunate arrangement of words on this individual ticket was completely random, coincidental and -- most importantly -- unintentional."
According to the gaming commission, "The odds of these three words being selected in that particular order are 1 in 900 million."
The statement added, "As soon as the ticket was brought to our attention, we immediately contacted the ticket printing vendor (IGT) to remove the word 'trash' from being a possible result for any future game. We apologize to anyone who was offended by this unfortunate result."
Still, Lynough has a hard time accepting this was a truly random coincidence.
"If I have a better chance of winning the Mega Millions or the Powerball ... what are the chances of that happening?" he asked. "Especially in your own hometown of Elmira."