Overseas gamblers used agent to scoop £16m on National Lottery

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The Independent Online

Gamblers from overseas scooped £16mon the UK National Lottery after buying their ticket from a company set up to sell them to people living abroad.

Gamblers from overseas scooped £16mon the UK National Lottery after buying their ticket from a company set up to sell them to people living abroad.

A retired aerospace worker, Ken Jackson, acted as an agent for the company and sometimes bought thousands of tickets a week which he would then sell on.

The £16,628,000 win in January 2002 was one of the biggest in the lottery's 10-year history. Mr Jackson, 77, from Sheringham, Norfolk, confirmed yesterday he used to work for Overseas Subscribers Agents (OSA), reportedly based in Manila in the Philippines. He had bought the winning ticket at his local newsagents. After he knew he had won he took more than a week to claim it as the company was working out how to transfer such a large sum overseas.

Mr Jackson said: "I worked as an agent to make a bit of pocket money to top up my pension."

The OSA website states: "On 2 January 2002, an OSA player from Switzerland won £16,627,894 in UK Lotto. This is the largest cash prize ever won by an individual player in UK National Lottery History!" It is not known whether the money went to a syndicate or to an individual. A spokesman for the National Lottery operator Camelot said that an investigation had taken place into bulk buying for OSA but no laws had been broken.

He added: "The operation of a commercial syndicate is not illegal under UK law nor is it in principle contrary to the rules governing the National Lottery.

"However, we do not consider it is in the best interest of players to participate via a consumer syndicate [which] typically charge players for their services. We regard the National Lottery as a fun game for individuals or small syndicates ... and therefore not appropriate for commercial exploitation."

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