UK couple battle over £1 million lottery prize

Home » UK couple battle over £1 million lottery prize

Lottery operator awards prize to girlfriend; boyfriend threatens legal action

A United Kingdom couple are at war over a lottery payout worth £1 million (US$1.27 million) after allegedly buying the ticket “together” before splitting up weeks later.

Michael Cartlidge, 39, says he and former girlfriend Charlotte Cox, 37, purchased the Lotto card together at a shop in Spalding, Lincolnshire. But after breaking up with him weeks later, Charlotte has now been deemed the sole winner by lottery operator Allwyn.

Michael, a security engineer, admits that Charlotte paid for and scratched the ticket. But he claims that he suggested the idea to buy one and attempted to transfer her cash in the shop to cover the purchase.

He says that the mother-of-one initially agreed to share the cash, but after walking out on him weeks later, claimed to be the sole winner. 

“£1 million has never brought such misery,” according to a person close to the situation.

The dispute was initially investigated by the UK Lottery’s former operator Camelot before they were supplanted by Allwyn, which currently runs the lottery.

Camelot had viewed the CCTV footage from the shop and had indicated to Michael that the money would be split, he says. Before the investigation was complete, Allwyn stepped in as lottery operator, and that’s where things changed. The new Lottery operators have now ruled that Charlotte is the rightful claimant.

Michael maintains he has a right to half the cash and is considering launching legal action.

“I am in shock. I can openly admit that we wouldn’t have got that ticket without Charlotte, but she wouldn’t have got it without me either”, he told The Sun. “I know it was her bank account that paid for it, but it should go 50-50 morally.”

Charlotte called Michael’s claims “rubbish”, with a source telling the publication her former partner had “no right” to the jackpot. 

The couple had been together for three months before the lotto drama started. On the night of the win, Michael had been living at Charlotte’s house as they decided to stop at their local Lidl to buy duck pancakes for dinner. He then claims they suggested to go to the Nisa next door to buy a couple of £5 scratchcards.

According to Michael, his former partner had told her she didn’t have the money to pay for it so he opened his bank app to make the transfer.

The father-of-one said, “I started the transfer, I held it up to show her. You can see me doing this on the shop CCTV, which Camelot has. The signal was bad so it didn’t go through at the time in the shop, it was just in the process of transferring. The little loading circle was going round. She bought the two tickets on her card and when we got home she scratched it.”

To their amazement one of the scratchcards landed them the £1 million jackpot. 

40 minutes later, Michael’s transfer went through. 

The couple celebrated their win with a trip to the seaside. They had multiple plans in the works such as buying a house together and purchasing a car. The ticket was put in Charlotte’s name, but said the money was due to go into a joint account.

But three weeks later, “out of the blue”, Michael received a call from one of her friends telling him to leave the house. So he did — and took the lottery ticket with him, later saying that things started to get “fishy” and felt she was “up to something”.

Upon returning home, Charlotte realized the ticket had been taken and got in touch with Camelot to get help with the situation.

Following some mediation, in which representatives from Camelot traveled to Lincolnshire to interview the pair separately about the dispute, they were able to get the ticket back.

Michael said that he spent Christmas Eve at Charlotte’s house dressed up as Father Christmas, believing the pair had put the dispute behind them.

On January 25, a Camelot official sent a message to the former couple saying that the legal team were still deciding what to do but that a draft was being prepared regarding the sharing of the prize.

But on February 10, less than two weeks since new owner Allwyn took over the running of the National Lottery, Michael was sent a letter saying he was not entitled to any money.

Michael says he is “ready to fight”, but Charlotte holds strong that his case is “rubbish”, with a friend of hers telling The Sun, “You can’t believe a word that man says.”

According to Allwyn’s rules, only the name written on the back of the ticket can claim the prize.

“The National Lottery Rules for Scratchcard Games make clear that only one person can be the owner of a ticket and that only the person whose name and address is written on the back of a winning scratchcard can claim a prize. This means that a prize can only be paid to one person and this is always communicated clearly to prize claimants,” Allwyn told The Sun. 

“Where a claimant agrees to share a prize with other parties (for example, players in a syndicate) after the prize has been paid, we always recommend that a legal agreement is drawn up between the interested parties. If there is no agreement in place, any dispute between the ­parties needs to be resolved between themselves.”

Thanks for dannyct for the tip.

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