A shop assistant has received a 12 month suspended jail sentence after he tried to trick a customer out of his lottery winnings. Maidstone Crown Court heard that a syndicate member was left hunting through bags of rubbish for his ticket.
The shopkeeper told him he'd won just ten pounds, so he could pocket the money himself. David Johns reports, speaking to syndicate leader Callum Crosier.
However Mr Crosier later checked the numbers for himself, and realised his syndicate had matched five lottery balls and the bonus ball - meaning a prize of thousands of pounds. He returned to the store and insisted the shopkeepers find the ticket. The winning ticket was found after a long search.
Lottery operator Camelot launched an inquiry and found that all four of the syndicate's tickets had been scanned, including the one with £79,887 prize. Shop assistant Imran Pervais, 26, of Milton Rd, Gravesend was arrested by Kent Police, and later found guilty of fraud by false representation.
A Chatham-based syndicate which nearly lost out on a £79,000 lottery win have celebrated receiving their cheque. The group were misled into believing they had only won £10 after they handed the ticket in for checking at Moores Convenience Store in Mackenzie Way in Gravesend.
Today shop assistant Imran Pervais, 26, of Milton Road in Gravesend was handed a 12-month prison sentenced - suspended for two years. He was convicted of fraud by false representation by a jury in March.
Pervais was also given a 200 hour community service order and a curfew for what the judge at Maidstone Crown Court called an 'opportunistic' and 'mean-spirited' offence.
A spokesman from Camelot said: "Camelot takes matters of propriety very seriously. Our aim as operator of The National Lottery is to 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."
The owner of a lottery ticket that is worth £3 million has not yet come forward to claim their prize. The ticket was bought in Sevenoaks in Kent. The lucky numbers - 8, 10, 27, 34, 40 and 41, with the bonus ball number 48 - were drawn on Saturday 9 February.
If the money is not claimed by 8 August, the cash will go to good causes.
"We're desperate to find this mystery ticket-holder and unite them with their winnings. This amazing jackpot prize could really make a huge difference to somebody's life.
"We're urging everyone who bought a ticket in this area to check their old tickets again or look anywhere a missing ticket could be hiding."
– National Lottery spokeperson
Anyone who believes they have the winning ticket can contact the National Lottery hotline on 0845 910 0000.