Two lottery winners may not see a cent of the winnings until they can verify that a bank account used to buy the scratchcard on April 22 was used legally.
Convicted criminals Mark Goodram, 36, and Jon-Ross Watson, 31, thought they had literally hit the jackpot after discovering two matching £4 million ($5.17 million) prize symbols on the same scratchcard, bought at 10.39 a.m. local time in the Clapham neighborhood of Waitrose, South London.
“I’m off to see the Queen. This is brilliant, I deserved a bit of a break, we’re made for life,” said Goodram who has 22 convictions for 45 criminal offences, according to The Sun. “I can’t wait to spend the lot, I’m going to buy luxury properties and look after myself.”
— The Sun (@TheSun) April 25, 2019
Watson, a Manchester United fan with burglary convictions, began planning a holiday to North America.
“I’m off on a Caribbean cruise then to Las Vegas but I need a passport first,” he said. “We were screaming in the street. We’ve told family and friends about our win but no one believes us.”
However, their plans for how to spend the money have been postponed indefinitely after they could not explain to the lottery company Camelot exactly whose debit card they used to buy the scratchcard. The friends for life raised suspicion after telling a company representative they have no bank accounts.
Lottery management are now investigating the pair originally from Bolton, 13 miles northwest of Manchester, because they are concerned the bank card used to buy the winning scratchcard might have been stolen.
However, Watson maintains a friend named John used the card after being paid £10 ($12.92) in cash. He was unable to provide his friend’s surname, address, phone number, or the reason for John’s absence, other than he simply disappeared “up north.”
“This win’s unbelievable but we deserve the money fair and square,” he said.
Goodram, who is understood to have been released from jail just days before the win, said he did not believe the debit card used to pay for the scratchcard was stolen.
Bolton pals celebrate £4 million lottery win… but can they claim their winnings? https://t.co/qO5PAaJSby
— Bolton Network (@NetworkBolton) April 26, 2019
Both men have been on Bolton’s most wanted list during the past few years after allegedly committing various crimes in the town, Metro reported.
While the jobless pair were waiting for the investigation to draw to a close, they passed the time going on a four-day bender, buying champagne and cocktails with the final loose change they had.
The friends even contacted the media to publicize their good news and produced the Red scratchcard and pink receipt confirming they were official winners, beating the odds of 4,019,579 to one. Camelot has a maximum of three £4 million ($5.17 million) payouts.
Camelot had still not paid out by April 24, with the lottery company refusing to confirm or deny the jackpot win.
There is little doubt about the scratchcard’s authenticity, and officials believe it is genuine. The only issue is whether the debit card was stolen.
“It’s possible to buy scratchcards using contact less payment, with the purchaser not required to provide identification,” an anonymous source told The Sun.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) April 26, 2019
— usa news (@USA_DAILY_NEWS) April 26, 2019