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Philip Hinks successful in fraudulent lottery scratchcard case

Philip Hinks has successfully represented Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd, the operator of the National Lottery, in dismissing a claim brought against it for a £4m prize won on a National Lottery scratchcard.

The scratchcard in question was purchased by the claimants at a shop in London in April 2020.  It was the winning scratchcard in a National Lottery game called ‘£4 Million Red’, and it entitled the rightful owner of the scratchcard to a prize of £4m.

However, when Camelot investigated the claimants’ prize claim, it transpired that the scratchcard had been purchased by the claimants using a bank card that did not belong to either of them.  The claimants were unable to inform Camelot of the identity or whereabouts of the owner of the bank card.  It was subsequently discovered that the owner of the bank card had informed his bank that the transaction in question was fraudulent and had been made without his/her authority.

Camelot proceeded to reject the claimants’ claim to the £4m prize on the basis that, on the information available to it (and putting it as neutrally as possible), the scratchcard had been purchased using a bank card without the cardholder’s authority.

The claimants issued proceedings against Camelot claiming the £4m prize and, on Camelot’s application, that claim was dismissed with summary judgment being entered in Camelot’s favour.  The court held that, under the rules which applied to the scratchcard, Camelot had been entitled to reject the prize claim and that decision was binding on the claimants.

Judgment in this matter was handed down on 18 September 2020 and is available here. Reporting restrictions applied to this judgment until December 2021 because criminal proceedings had been brought by the CPS against the claimants with respect to their purchase of the scratchcard.  In the event, in December 2021 the claimants pleaded guilty to fraud related charges and received custodial sentences.

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