Taxi driver's frustrating six-week wait for National Lottery winnings

Taxi driver Ray Laird who is still waiting for his lottery winnings
Taxi driver Ray Laird who is still waiting for his lottery winnings -Credit:Liverpool Echo

A taxi driver who won £800 on the National Lottery six weeks ago says he still hasn't been paid his winnings.

Ray Laird, from Bootle, is still driving taxis at the age of 69 to cover his bills during the cost of living crisis. However, when he won on the National Lottery he thought his stress would be relieved for one month.

But, those hopes came crashing down as almost six weeks later his winnings remain unpaid. The taxi driver bought his winning lottery ticket from a One Stop shop in Bootle last month (March 2), like every other week, but this time was shocked to learn he won a massive £800, which he says would have paid his mortgage for the month.

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Ray, who has been playing the lotto weekly since 1994, has made multiple attempts to contact the lotto for his winnings however claims he has been left on hold to the company for hours.

Ray told the ECHO: "I'm 69 so can't do the online stuff but I got my daughter to register the ticket for me. She did everything they asked and sent the tickets off. It was £800 I won.

"I phoned last week to enquire when I'm getting this money. Someone on the phone said to me 'well if you played online you wouldn't have this trouble' I thought this is disgusting. I have bought tickets from 1994 why should I change now?

"She said to me I would receive the cheque by Friday last week, if not the latest Monday so I never received it Monday and called them again on Tuesday. I was on the phone for an hour and ten mins and still never got through. I called again on Wednesday and was on the phone for two hours and 55 minutes. I've been on the phone to them again this morning (Thurs) for another hour, this isn't right. I have been phoning for three days, is the back log that bad?"

Taxi driver Ray Laird who is still waiting for his lottery winnings
Taxi driver Ray Laird who is still waiting for his lottery winnings -Credit:Liverpool Echo

Ray claims the £800 win would have relieved him and his family of stress amid the difficulties that have hit the UK with the cost of living crisis. He says: "£800 would have paid my mortgage this month. I'm a taxi driver, I'm struggling as it is. I'm 69 and still working so I can pay my mortgage. Times are tough at the moment, they are tough for everyone and I'm being crucified off the tax man for working and getting my pension, but I have to work. You can't win.

"Everyone is struggling so as soon as you get extra cash it is a relief of stress on your bills, we all need that relief.

"It was just last week that I took a woman home from the hospital who was 93 and she asked me if £15 would be enough for the fare. I said 'it is today love' and I only charged her £10...she said I'm getting my money tomorrow I will give you it and I told her 'I don't need it' that woman had worked all her life in the hospital and now she is worrying about getting home, this is what we are living in today.

"Then today I'm paying for a job to get done on my car which is another expense. Its overly frustrating."

An Allwyn spokesperson said: "This is a new claims process following the Post Office's decision to no longer pay National Lottery retail prizes between £500.01 and £50,000. The time the process takes will vary depending on whether we need any further information from the player in order to process their claim and how long it takes for us to receive the ticket or Scratchcard from the player.

"As people are still unfamiliar with the new process, we’re also experiencing a high volume of players contacting us and have increased the number of colleagues to assist players with their claims which is helping them get their prizes more quickly. We're very sorry to hear of Mr Laird's concerns, and have been in touch with him to discuss these and provide him with an update. We'd like to reassure anyone affected that they will receive their prize."

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