Small-Time Crooks Threaten to Sue UK National Lottery Over Withheld $4 Million Payout
Posted on: June 10, 2019, 12:13h.
Last updated on: June 10, 2019, 12:13h.
Mark Goodram, 36, and Jon-Ross Watson, 31, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, embarked on a four-day bender after they bought the winning ticket on Easter Monday, but the festivities were cut short when they learned lottery officials were withholding the winnings because they suspected the ticket may have been purchased with a stolen debit card.
Camelot officials’ suspicions may have been aroused by the fact that neither man owns a bank account, a prerequisite for debit-card ownership.
When asked whose card they had used to buy the ticket, the two friends explained it belonged to a man called “John,” whom they had given cash to buy the ticket for them.
According to The Sun, “John” had yet to come forward to corroborate the story.
‘Held Ransom to Their Past’
Goodram has 22 convictions for 45 criminal offenses and stars regularly in the pages of the Bolton News’ “Bolton’s Most Wanted” feature.
He had been released from prison just weeks before his win, having served a sentence for burglarizing a gas station and making off with £8,000 ($10,100), which included a charity box collecting for the local hospice. A stolen bank card was found on his person at the time of his arrest.
Watson also has burglary convictions and was once imprisoned for 16 weeks for credit card fraud.
But according to a lawyer for the pair, their colourful criminal history is being unjustly held against them.
Henry Hendron told The Sun that Camelot is “in effect holding my clients ransom to their past.”
My clients have been very open and upfront about their upbringing in care homes and hard struggles in life, including previous substance misuse problems, which both have tried really hard to overcome,” Hendron said.
“My clients consider Camelot are behaving in a culturally racist way by subjecting them to a level of scrutiny, checking and vetting they would not otherwise do if the person who claimed the prize spoke in a posh accent,” he added.
Breach of Contract
Hendron argues that Goodram and Watson entered into a contract with Camelot when they bought the ticket.
“That’s a contract that says, ‘If this ticket wins then you’ve got to pay out.’ That ticket has won so Camelot should pay out,” he said. “It’s not for Camelot to investigate whether the money you use is your money. They’re not the police … We’ve paid out £10 for a ticket that may win and that now has won. Breach of contract. That’s our case.”
Camelot said that investigations into a win often form a key part of the process of validating a winning ticket in order to “maintain the integrity of the National Lottery.”
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