A shop worker has admitted attempting to falsely claim a £1m (€1.2m) lottery prize.
Farrakh Nizzar told great-grandmother Maureen Holt, 77, she had won nothing when he scanned her EuroMillions ticket at a shop in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
He told her he would throw the ticket in the bin for her but later phoned a lottery hotline to say it was he who had bought the jackpot ticket.
Nizzar’s con unravelled when it was discovered that the ticket had been purchased at a Tesco Extra store in the town, rather than at the Best One Convenience Store in Watersheddings St.
Camelot, the operator of the National Lottery, was able to trace Mrs Holt because she had used her Tesco Clubcard when she bought the ticket, and the store had her contact details. CCTV footage also confirmed she had bought the ticket.
Mrs Holt and husband Fred, 80, were on holiday when the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Raffle draw which matched their numbers was conducted in June.
Nizzar, 20, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Oldham Magistrates’ Court. The defendant, of Woodlands Rd, Crumpsall, Manchester, has been remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing hearing at Manchester Minshull St Crown Court on Aug 20.
When Nizzar, nicknamed Lucky, realised his plot had been discovered he told friends he was moving back to his native Pakistan, but he was caught before he left the country when his car activated a police number plate recognition system.
Police were made aware last month of allegations surrounding the attempt to claim a prize from Camelot, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said.
Det Insp 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.”
The mother-of-seven, whose husband Fred still works for a security firm, said: “I just can’t believe he did this, but at least he got caught.
“This money will mean my husband can finally give upwork and we can enjoy our retirement.”
Mr Holt said: “I’ve been going to that shop for years — Lucky always saved the paper for me.
“He was a great character. I was really terribly shocked when I found out what happened. It was unbelievable. We feel let down.”
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