National Lottery operator Camelot has been fined £3 million by the gambling watchdog after a punter managed to get £2.5 million from a ticket which was deliberately damaged and may have been fraudulent.
It is believed that Camelot could have been fooled into paying out the huge sum of cash on a ticket which had been deliberately damaged. Police and the gambling watchdog launched investigations.
A 50 year old man from Hertfordshire was arrested on suspicion of fraud, but no charges were ever brought. However, the Gambling Commission has now ruled that it was more then likely that a fraudulent prize claim had been paid out.
Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has now described the situation as the “great Lotto robbery”. He said that British Lotto players now needed reassurances that the game was safe to play. Meanwhile, Camelot’s CEO Andy Duncan has explained how it is believed that the prize money was paid out.
The supposed ‘winner’ sent in a ticket to Camelot so it could go through the damaged tickets process. This lets people who have damaged their tickets check out whether they have won anything or not. The claim was submitted seven years ago and Mr Duncan said it seemed like a reasonable decision to take to pay out. However, the Lottery operators say that new information came to light last year which seemed to shed doubt on the decision to pay the money out.
While the police did investigate, they decided not to take further action as they did not have “completely clear cut” evidence. Mr Duncan said that the Lottery was now looking into whether it could get any of its money back, given that it could have been the victim of fraud.
He reassured Lotto players that systems had now been put in place to make sure that the same thing did not happen again.