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Lottery ‘Winner’ Charged for Faking Winning Ticket for £2.5 Million Jackpot

Lottery ‘Winner’ Charged for Faking Winning Ticket for £2.5 Million Jackpot

A man who used a fake ticket to claim a lottery jackpot worth £2.5 million has been charged by police. Edward Putman, a 53-year-old builder from Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, will appear in court next month to face charges of fraud by false representation.  

Prize Claimed In 2009

The charge Putman faces relates to a £2.5 million lottery prize he claimed in 2009. Evidence came to light in 2015 that the ticket he used to claim the money was faked, and an investigation was subsequently opened by Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit. The three-year investigation led to Putman’s arrest and a £3 million fine in 2016 for Camelot, the operator of the UK National Lottery, for paying out the money.

The Gambling Commission issued the fine after concluding that the prize was claimed fraudulently using a "deliberately damaged ticket". The Commission found that the money was paid out even though the winning ticket did not have a working barcode.

The police did not take any further action at the time after investigating the matter, despite arresting Putman then on suspicion of fraud by false representation. However, there was not enough evidence to charge him and he was released.

£2.5 Million May Have to Be Repaid

Putman is alleged to have used a fake ticket to claim the jackpot from the Lotto draw on 11th March 2009, coming forward in September that year, shortly before the unclaimed prize was due to expire. The ticket matched one bought in Worcestershire which matched all six Lotto numbers to win the multi-million pound jackpot.

It is alleged that Putman had help from a Camelot employee called Giles Knibbs, who is said to have passed on insider information regarding the winning ticket. Knibbs later took his own life while on police bail as they investigated allegations that he had attempted to blackmail Putman for £900,000.

After receiving his winnings, Putman splashed out on properties in Hertfordshire worth £1 million, as well as luxury cars. However, if found guilty, he could be forced to repay the entire £2.5 million under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

After the charge against Putman was revealed, a Camelot spokesperson said: “We’re aware that an individual has been charged. However, while we appreciate that some people may want to know further detail, it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to comment at this stage, given that the matter is now the subject of criminal proceedings.”

What Usually Happens With Damaged Winning Tickets?

Although it is not guaranteed that prize money will be paid out, it is still possible to make a claim using a damaged lottery ticket. The National Lottery states that a claim must be made in writing within 30 days of the draw taking place, and claimants must provide exact details of where and when the ticket was bought. Camelot may then consider the prize claim and if there is sufficient evidence to suggest that it is genuine, the prize may be paid out.

In the case of Edward Putman’s claim, it is alleged that his accomplice at Camelot, Giles Knibbs, passed on pertinent information about the winning ticket, such as when and where it was bought. Putman is then alleged to have bought another ticket from the same retailer, with the same winning numbers, and defaced the date and barcode on it so its date and time of purchase couldn't be determined.

Published: Tuesday 11th September 2018

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