Tesco Employee, Lottery Mechanics Led Man to Believe He’d Won Over £50,000

  • Dean Smethurst opened champagne and told people he’d won
  • The prize claim attempt was made when lottery sales were suspended
  • All Smethurst eventually did win in the lottery was £6 ($7.31)
Tesco store
A checkout assistant at a Tesco store led an ex-Marine to celebrate a big UK National Lottery win that turned out to be just £6 ($7.31). [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Man jumps the gun

A checkout operator at a Tesco supermarket in Manchester, combined with in-draw mechanics, led a local man to mistakenly celebrate winning over £50,000 ($60,927) playing the UK National Lottery.

told by a checkout operator he’d won

According to the Daily Record, Co-op Store Manager Dean Smethurst was told by a checkout operator he’d won the Saturday National Lottery draw. The Tesco employee told Smethurst that she couldn’t cash out the ex-Royal Marine’s winnings via the store’s machines and that he’d have to contact Camelot, the outgoing National Lottery operator.  

Upon checking the National Lottery terms and conditions on the Camelot website, Smethurst discovered the woman’s response was the norm for lottery wins of at least £50,000.

Thinking he’d really won, the Manchester man started telling people and making plans to spend his winnings. As events transpired, and as Smethurst would later admit, he wished he’d kept quiet.

Telling the world

The UK daily cites the Mirror reporting Smethurst was in “a state of shock” when he still believed he’d won. Smethurst said all the other Tesco employees “applauded me” after his receipt stated he’d won a prize.

Smethurst hightailed it home, opened a bottle of champagne, began working out what to spend his winnings on, and started telling everyone he knew about his big jackpot.  

Stating he couldn’t sleep from excitement, Smethurst planned to spend his winnings on home renovations and a luxury family holiday in Barbados.

The sleep-deprived man called Camelot the next morning as soon as the phone lines opened, expecting life-changing news.

Foiled by mechanics

Instead of confirming Smethurst’s winning dreams, Camelot shattered them. According to the Record, a Camelot spokesman explained that Smethurst tried to redeem a prize during a draw break, “when National Lottery sales are suspended.”

The spokesperson added the prize couldn’t be cashed out on the Saturday because Smethurst’s lottery ticket “was still entered into a ‘live’ draw – so a validation slip was printed instead.” This validation slip led the Tesco staff member to tell Smethurst, who once worked in the store: “Well done, you’ve won.”

All Smethurst did win, ultimately, was £6 ($7.31)

my mum made me some comfort food, which wasn’t much comfort”

Smethurst at least had a day off work to spare him his colleague’s banter. “I just watched television and my mum made me some comfort food, which wasn’t much comfort.”

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