Crooks Who Used Stolen Card to Buy $5.3M Scratch-off Imprisoned for Fraud

Posted on: December 15, 2021, 04:48h. 

Last updated on: December 16, 2021, 10:39h.

Two small-time crooks who partied hard after they “won” £4 million (US$5.3 million) on a lottery scratch-off ticket were sentenced to 18 months apiece for fraud in Bolton Crown Court, UK, Tuesday.

National lottery fraud
Mark Goodram (left) and John-Ross Watson celebrate after “winning: £4 million on the UK National Lottery in 2019. (Image: MEN Media)

John-Ross Watson, 34, and Mark Goodram, 38, both from Bolton, purchased the £10 ticket from a London grocery store in April 2019. Unfortunately, they were using a stolen bank card at the time.

The pair, who each have an extensive criminal history, immediately embarked on a four-day bender. They snapped selfies while binging on margaritas and posing with jeroboams of champagne.

When they finally sobered up, Goodram called the UK National Lottery to claim the win, adding that he would be sharing it with his friend, the court heard.

Lottery Gets Suspicious

Lottery officials explained the payment would be made by bank transfer, and Goodram said he did not have a bank account. Since the ticket had been bought with a card linked to a bank account, this aroused suspicion.

When asked whose card they had used to buy the ticket, the two friends explained it belonged to a man named “John,” whom they had met in a brothel. They said they had him given cash to buy the ticket on their behalf. However, “John” failed to come forward to corroborate the story. The pair claimed they could not get in contact with him because he had gone “up north.”

Meanwhile, lottery officials learned the card belonged to a man who said he had never met Watson or Goodram.

When the Lottery withheld the payout pending the conclusion of its investigation, the pair went to the UK tabloids to complain of injustice, painting themselves as victims.

But the newspapers quickly discovered that Watson had 74 convictions for 143 criminal offenses and Goodram had 22 for 45. Both were out on bail at the time of their lottery win. Goodram had recently robbed a gas station and stolen a charity box that contained £8,000 (US$10,600) meant for a local hospice.

Goodram was featured regularly in his local newspaper’s “Bolton’s Most Wanted” segment.

‘Cultural Racism’

Later in 2019, they threatened to sue the National Lottery, claiming their colorful criminal histories had prejudiced National Lottery operator Camelot against them in a way that was “culturally racist.”

They were briefly represented pro bono by celebrity lawyer Henry Hedron, who himself has a criminal conviction for supplying chemsex drugs.

In late 2009, Hendron told tabloids that Goodram and Watson entered into a contract with Camelot when they bought the ticket.

“It’s not for Camelot to investigate whether the money you use is your money,” he claimed.

Camelot, and on Tuesday a Crown Court judge, disagreed.