The true victor initially thought his lottery scratchcard, bought at a shop in Vacaville last December, was worth $10,000 (£8,000).
The next day, his suspicions were confirmed when his roommate, identified as 35-year-old Adul Saosongyang, attempted to cash in the winning ticket at the same Sacramento office.
The next day, his roomie took the $30 Scratcher ticket and went to collect his winnings, only to be told he'd made a mistake, and the card was a dud.
At this point, the Lottery was unaware this ticket had been reported stolen and began their administrative investigation that is done on all winnings over $600.
The Vacaville man who originally purchased the ticket on December 20 at a Lucky grocery store said he bought it hoping to win some extra cash for the holidays, according to police.
On Monday, the lottery investigator invited Saosongyang to the Sacramento office to collect his winnings, but he was arrested and charged with grand theft instead, police said.
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When the lucky man went to collect his winnings and was rejected, he filed a police report saying he suspected his room-mate Saosongyang, as he had told him about winning.
"At some point, he scratches that ticket and realizes he has a victor which he thinks is $10,000", said Lieutenant Chris Polen of the Vacaville Police Department.
His punt on a pre-Christmas payout paid off big time with the ticket winning him $US10 million ($14 million). He returned home and shared the news with his two roommates, police said. When he arrived, he was arrested. Part of the investigation included viewing the surveillance cameras at the store where the ticket was purchased.
The Lottery investigator began comparing notes with a Vacaville PD detective on the suspected theft.
Saosongyang was booked into Sacramento County jail on Monday and was transferred to Solano County on Thursday, where he is being held on $65,000 bail. Together, they found that Saosongyang had allegedly purchased a similar ticket to his roommate's, altered it and swapped it for the winning ticket.
"Although, I'm sure everything will work out in the end", he told the newspaper.
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