A man who cashed in a Lotto ticket he found inside a wallet he stole won $78.

Lewis Terrence Tracey Hines swiped the wallet on March 7 from the office at Wanganui Toyota, and cashed in the victim's Lotto ticket, police prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Willemsen said in Whanganui District Court yesterday.

When the wallet was returned to the victim, it was missing $40 cash and the ticket. When spoken to by police, Hines said he found the wallet in his bag. In court, he pleaded guilty to theft.

Judge David Cameron ordered Hines to come up for sentence if called upon within six months and ordered him to pay reparation of $118.