Being a fairly irregular Lotto player, I never bothered checking the numbers immediately when they were drawn. Mostly, I’d just go to a shop, hand over my ticket and ask the person behind the counter to check if I’d won or not.
A couple of times, I’d win a few quid, or a scratch card, and they’d give me my winnings. However, on a couple of occasions, I was told that I’d won nothing, and they crumpled up my ticket to throw it away. I did find this strange on those occasions as normally I’d be given back my ticket if I’d won nothing. However, I didn’t think anything more about this.
Until now. Click here to read about a lottery player in Canada who had his winning ticket stolen from him by the woman behind the counter who was checking to see if he’d won anything. I read about this first on the Freakonomics blog.
Basically, this elderly gentleman handed over his ticket to see if he’d won. The woman saw that he’d won ca$250,000, but told him he hadn’t won anything and kept the ticket for herself. She claimed the money as her own, and received a cheque for the ca$250,000.
The gentlemen realised what happened almost immediately, particularly after seeing the woman receiving her winners cheque, and seeing the numbers he’d picked. Despite going to the people running the lottery with sufficient evidence, it too a court case and over 6 months before he eventually received his money in an out of court settlement.
Lesson learned. Not that we know that this has happened in Ireland, but we don’t know if it hasn’t happened either. So if you have lottery numbers to be checked, do it yourself. It’ll only take a couple of minutes for you to be sure. The numbers are available on the television, on Aertel, in the newspapers, on the National Lottery website, and you can get them printed out on a ticket in the shops the following day.
To take the slogan of the UK National Lottery, “It could be you!”, but in a situation like this, not in a good way.