Found Lottery TicketTuesday July 28th 2009
Amanda Stacey, aged 34 and her husband Michael, aged 43 have landed themselves in court after spending £15,000 of the £30,000 prize money that they had spent from a found lottery ticket. The ticket was spotted on the floor of the couples local coop store in Swindon, Wiltshire.
Mrs Stacey took the lottery ticket home and discovered that it contained winning numbers for that evenings draw. After cashing in the windfall Mr and Mrs Stacey used half of the winnings to pay of debts and treat themselves and their children. Meanwhile the real owner of the lottery ticket, Dorothy McDonagh aged 61, had proved to Camelot that she was, in fact, the real owner of the ticket.
Although Mrs Stacey claimed she did not realise she had committed a crime and thought she had just been lucky, police froze the remaining £15,000 prize money and charged the pair who later received 11 month suspended jail sentences after admitting charges of making a false representation. The judge who handed down the sentences said that they had acted out of need and not greed but they have been ordered to pay back the £15,000 lottery prize money that they have already spent and Mrs McDonagh will find out at a later court hearing whether she will get the other £15,000 that remains.
Camelot are reminding players to keep their lottery tickets safe and to fill out their names and addresses on the back. This means that there can never be any dispute as to the ownership of any ticket.
An even more secure way is to buy lottery tickets online and then you know that you will never lose a winning ticket!