1. ITV Report

Oldham shopkeeper tried to cheat customer out of £1 million lottery win

Shopkeeper Farrakh Nizzar tried to claim lottery winnings Photo: MEN Syndication
Lottery winners Maureen and Fred Holt Credit: MEN Syndication

A shop worker has admitted attempting to falsely claim a £1 million lottery prize.

Farrakh Nizzar told great-grandmother Maureen Holt, 77, she had won nothing when he scanned her EuroMillions ticket at a convenience store in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

He reportedly told her he would throw away the ticket but then later phoned a lottery hotline to say it was he who had bought the lucky jackpot ticket from the store.

His con unravelled when it was discovered that it had been purchased on Mrs Holt's Tesco Clubcard at a Tesco Extra store in the town, rather than at Best One Convenience Store in Watersheddings Street.

Mrs Holt and husband Fred, 80, were on holiday when the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Raffle draw which matched their numbers was made in June.

Nizzar, 20, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation yesterday, a court official at Oldham Magistrates' Court confirmed.

The defendant, of Woodlands Road, Crumpsall, Manchester, has been remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on August 20.

Police were made aware last month of allegations surrounding the attempt to claim a prize from Camelot, operator of the National Lottery, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said.

Detective Inspector Danny Inglis said: "We have worked very closely with Camelot throughout this investigation and will continue to do so during the remainder of the judicial process."

A spokesman for Camelot said: "I can confirm that we believe we have identified the genuine owner of the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Raffle prize from the draw on Friday June 22 2012.

"We are aware of the charges that Farrakh Nizzar pleaded guilty to yesterday. However, given the ongoing legal process and the fact that Mr Nizzar is yet to be sentenced, it would be inappropriate for Camelot to comment further on this case."

He added: "Camelot takes matters of propriety very seriously. Our aim as operator of the National Lottery is to ensure we raise as much money as possible for National Lottery Good Causes through selling lottery tickets in a socially-responsible way. This involves running the National Lottery with the utmost integrity.

"In order to do this, we adhere to the highest standards in player protection. Our operations and processes are subject to the scrutiny of our own internal auditors, independent external auditors, and representatives from our regulator, the National Lottery Commission.

"We are committed to investigating allegations made against any retailer selling National Lottery tickets. Such allegations are very rare - we work with approaching 30,000 retailers throughout the UK, with millions of transactions taking place every day.

"As part of this ongoing commitment, I can confirm that we have suspended a National Lottery retailer in Oldham, pending an internal investigation."

Camleot said that prize claimants have to go through a number of security procedures as part of the ticket validation process to determine whether they are the rightful owner.

All players of the National Lottery prize draws are encouraged to sign the back of their tickets and check if they have won before presenting them at shops.