Pensioner sent 'don't like it, don't play' message after Euromillions blow

Opinion is divided after a pensioner said he was "cheated" by the amount he got from a lottery win.

On Friday, May 31, John Pitt decided to try his luck on the EuroMillions. After he realised he had won a prize after matching three numbers and a star, the 72-year-old went online to check how much money he he'd won.

However, John was "astonished" to discover his three-plus-one-star prize of £6.50 was 10 pence lower than the £6.60 amount ticket holders who had matched three numbers could claim.

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The Everton man told the ECHO: "I thought, 'this can't be right' so I phoned the National Lottery. The man on the other end came back and told me that the prize for each outcome is determined by how many people won it - and then divided between them. He told me that that's just the way it is. "

John continued: "I'm not bothered about the 10p but if I'd have won £100k with my numbers and someone with less numbers had won £110k, that would be a problem.

"They just do whatever they like and there's no oversight. It's unbelievable! The way they said: 'That's just the way it is' when they could have said: 'Oh, sorry, we've made a miscalculation and we've fixed it' - that would be better.

"They've cheated me and many more. When I contacted the National Lottery, I said: 'You must have had hundreds of calls like this' but they said they hadn't."

A spokesperson for Allwyn, the operator of The National Lottery, said: "Unlike some of our other draw-based games, EuroMillions does not have fixed prize tiers and the amount a player wins in a particular draw will be dependent on how many other players have also won in that tier.

"In the draw on 31 May, there were a higher than usual number of match 3+1 winners and, as the prize fund is divided equally between them, this has resulted in the rare scenario whereby the player's prize is very slightly lower than that of the next winning tier."

John Pitt says he has been "cheated" by the National Lottery
John Pitt says he has been "cheated" by the National Lottery -Credit:Supplied

After reading what had happened to John, many took to Facebook to air their thoughts.

Julie Rogers Keyes said: "It's a pittance for three numbers. They need to lower the amount for the top winner and spread it a bit more generously for the other winners, as it's hard to even get three numbers and the amount is a disgrace.

"Hence why I don't play it! If everyone stopped playing it, they'd change their tune then."

Thomas Hughes said: "He has a point. I got four main numbers once and only won £27." Shaun Edwards added: "A friend of mine once got five numbers on the National Lottery and won less around £1500. Better than a poke in the eye but disappointing considering the odds."

While lots of people understood where John was coming from, not everyone was as sympathetic. Majella Richardson said: "It's always been calculated that way." Teresa O'Sullivan said: "To be fair, I'd be happy with a tenner."

Robert Hewitt said: "Those are the rules. Don’t like it, don’t play."

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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