Two British men have had their winnings on a huge scratchcard win refused, after lottery bosses became suspicious. Mark Goodram, 36, and Jon-Ross Watson, 31, had claimed a massive £4m ($5.1m) payout.
But the National Lottery launched an investigation into the pair after discovering that neither of them have a bank account. Nor could the two men explain how they came to have had access to the card used, claiming it was a “friend’s”.
The two men have been on a four-day lap of luxury since purchasing the winning scratchcard. After finding out that they had won the jackpot, the pair have been pictured on social media drinking champagne and enjoying cocktails in Clapham, South London.
Goodram and Watson, who are originally from Bolton, in north-west England, are already planning to spend their big win on “luxury properties and Caribbean voyages”.
In an interview, Watson revealed how much the win meant to both himself and his childhood friend. He said: “Mark and me have been mates since we were little. This win’s unbelievable but we deserve the money fair and square. We were screaming in the street. We’ve told family and friends about our win but no one believes us.”
Both men appear to have checkered pasts. Bolton-born Watson was reported in local media to have convictions that include bank fraud and burglary.
Goodram, also from the Greater Manchester town, is reported to have 22 convictions for 45 criminal offences. He was allegedly released from jail on police license just days prior to the win.
Both have featured on lists for “Bolton’s most wanted” as suspects for crimes committed in the area recently.
Suspicions over the win have been raised by Camelot, which runs the National Lottery. It is now refusing to release any funds until an investigation has been carried out.
Camelot believes that the scratchcard, purchased Easter Monday at a supermarket in south London, was paid for using a stolen debit card. The operator has since refused to confirm or deny the win.
When the two men were asked to confirm whose card it was being used, they would only disclose that it was a friend named “John”.
An insider said: “It’s possible to buy scratchcards using contactless payment, with the purchaser not required to provide identification.”
The operators will need to carry out an investigation to find out whose card it was before releasing the funds. Camelot’s website states it will not pay out for stolen tickets, although it is unclear whether this includes tickets paid for with stolen cards.