National Lottery winner scoops £10,000 but 'has nothing' due to new rule

A National Lottery sign outside a newsagent
A National Lottery sign outside a newsagent -Credit:PA

A National Lottery winner has been left in the lurch after scooping £10,000 on a £3 scratchcard, only to find herself penniless for five weeks due to a new rule. Jennifer Gothard struck gold with a "triple cashword" scratchcard in March, but her joy turned to frustration as she's still awaiting her prize money.

Speaking of her ordeal, Jennifer told The Gazette: "They can't even tell me whether I've really won or not. They apparently have a big backlog of claims to get through and they still haven't got around to checking mine.

"I was so excited and happy about my big win. Finally, it was like I'd been given a break and the chance for a fresh start after a really tough few years. But I'm beginning to lose hope with the lack of communication, the timescales and generally the fact that I don't have my win after five weeks."

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Jennifer added: "It means I can finally start working to live, rather than living to work, for the first time in what feels like forever. I will finally be debt free, and maybe get ahead on a couple of payments. But most of all I can finally get divorced, do some decorating and enjoy a much-needed holiday for me and my mum."

Despite her frustration, Allwynn, the operator, has stated that Jennifer will "just have to wait", reports Birmingham Live. Jennifer continued: "Now we just need the National Lottery to pay up and the doctors to give my mum the 'good to go' and we can jet off somewhere sunny and nice. Oh and maybe I'll treat myself to a new pair of boots!"

An Allwyn spokesperson said: "We're very sorry to hear of Ms Gothard's concerns and will be in touch with her with an update. This is a new claims process we've had to introduce following the Post Office's decision to no longer pay National Lottery retail prizes between £500.01 and £50,000 (what we call 'mid-tier prizes').

"As a result of it being new, we've been experiencing higher volumes of players contacting us and some initial delays to players receiving their prizes. We've since increased the number of colleagues to assist with claims which is helping us send out prizes more quickly and are continuing to work to make improvements to the process.

"For example, we recently started a trial where anyone winning under £1,000 no longer needs to send in their winning ticket to us to help speed up the process. We'd like to reassure anyone affected that they will receive their prize."

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