Thu, 13 Sep, 2018Basmah Qazi

Lotto “winner” who claimed $4.5 million jackpot is exposed for using fake ticket

Lotto “winner” who claimed $4.5 million jackpot is exposed for using fake ticket

A British man has been charged with lottery fraud after nearly a decade for using an alleged fake ticket to claim a $4.5 million jackpot.

Hertfordshire Police said 53-year-old Edward Putman had been charged with fraud by false representation after an investigation into the incident that occurred in 2009.

The winning numbers 6, 9, 20, 21, 31, 34 were drawn on March 11 and matched a ticket bought in Worcestershire, about two hours away from where Mr Putman was living at the time.

When no one came forward to claim the prize, Mr Putman saw it as an opportunity to take the jackpot for himself. The £2.5 million ($4.5 million) was paid out by National Lottery operator Camelot, even though the ticket Mr Putman provided did not have a working barcode.

“In 2015 an investigation was opened by Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit after evidence came to light that the claim was not genuine,” police said in a statement.

As reported by The Telegraph, at the time of the incident, Mr Putman asked for “no publicity” after winning the jackpot. With the money he obtained, he went on to purchase two homes in the village of Kings Langley – one for £600,000 ($1.1 million) and another for £400,000 ($730,000). He also went and bought over a dozen cars.

The issue is said to have been “immediately brought to the attention of the Commission and police” and after conducting an in-depth investigation, the UK Gambling Commission fined Camelot £3 million ($5.5 million).

Mr Putman was reportedly arrested in 2015 but released without charge.

The investigation conducted by the Commission concluded that “whilst it could not be certain a fraud had taken place, it was more likely than not that a fraudulent prize claim had been made and paid out” on a “deliberately damaged ticket.”

“The Gambling Commission’s chief concern is to ensure the National Lottery is run with integrity and that player interests are protected,” Commission chief executive Sarah Harrison said in a statement at the time.

“Camelot’s failures, in this case, are serious and the penalty package reflects this. Importantly, the package also ensures that good causes will not lose out as a result of Camelot’s licence breach.

“Lottery players can feel reassured that our investigations have found no evidence of similar events happening and that controls are in place today to mitigate against future prize payout failings of this type.”

Mr Putman was released on bail to appear at St Albans Magistrates Court on October 16.