9 January 2016 – the UK Lotto reached an enormous high of £66 million which was confirmed to have been won by two lucky ticket holders. The first share was claimed by Scottish couple, Carol and David Martin and the second share was yet to be claimed.
Shortly after the story got wind, 48-Year-old Susanne Hinte staked her claim on the £33 million UK Lotto jackpot only to find that she was sorely mistaken. The grandmother of four had allegedly made the ‘innocent mistake’ of washing her jeans with what she believed to be the winning ticket.
After submitting the damaged ticket with only the winning numbers being visible, the lottery operators immediately grew suspicious. Camelot officials (UK Lottery operators) reported that because the barcode, draw date, ID number, and raffle number were all washed out, the first line of action was to request the CCTV footage from the store where the ticket was claimed to be purchased. This however confirmed that the winning lottery ticket was not in fact hers as the store in question was not where the winning ticket was sold. Susanne Hinte may have very well purchased a lottery ticket that day, but it was not the winning ticket.
On the 28th of January 2016 the real winner came forward and claimed their prize anonymously. Susanne Hinte however denied any suggestions that she had purchased the ticket and altered it to defraud Camelot. ‘I have not messed with any ticket I can assure you. I have been foolish. I feel daft about it all. When it comes to things like that I am a bit dappy. I am so embarrassed’, she told news reporters. She went on to say: ‘I never believed it was the winning ticket. But I had to find out, I think anyone would do the same.’
After the real winner came forward and Susanne’s story was disproven, the media uncovered that she had previously tried to claim £200 on a “winning” damaged scratch-off. After this debacle, Camelot released a statement saying that they will ‘take action’ to the fraudsters who waste their time. Shula de Jersey, a criminal attorney in the UK, stated that an intentionally false claim would be classified as “fraud by false representation” and could carry hefty charges and fines. Concessions will however be made if a person legitimately wonders if they won and came forward, but in light of Susanne’s past transgressions, it is difficult to say whether she is telling the truth.
Susanne has since been a keen subject of interest, with the media digging up private pictures of her that was displayed on a dating site. ‘I can’t go home, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. My children have been destroyed, they have been hounded. Surely I have only done what any other person would have done?… I wanted to kill myself last week because I just thought nothing could be worth this. My life has been taken from me. I am never going to buy a lottery ticket again,’ she said.