A shop worker who tried to claim a winning £1m lottery ticket belonging to an elderly couple has been jailed for two and a half years.
Farrakh Nizzar, 30, told Maureen Holt her EuroMillions ticket had not won – even though the terminal at the shop in Oldham where he worked had flashed up a message saying the holder should contact Camelot immediately.
Ms Holt, 78, and her husband, Fred, 80 – who were on such good terms with Nizzar that they had nicknamed him "Lucky" – told him to bin the ticket.
Nizzar later called the lottery company himself in an attempt to keep the prize, but aroused suspicion when he was unable to answer questions about when he had bought it. Camelot checked CCTV and traced the rightful owners of the ticket using Mr Holt's Tesco Clubcard to unite the couple with their £1m prize. Nizzar, who pleaded guilty last month to one charge of fraud by false representation, was yesterday jailed for 30 months at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.
Passing sentence, Recorder Philip Cattan told the defendant: "This goes to the heart of public confidence in the National Lottery. The courts must demonstrate to you and to others that this type of fraud will be met by significant custody."
After the case a statement from the Holts said: "We are glad that justice has been done and that this matter is now behind us. We can now look forward to enjoying our lottery win and spending some time with our family and friends."