The man who threw away the £100,000 winner

Dave Higgens,Press Association
Thursday 22 April 2010 15:36

A mail driver today described how he threw away a £100,000 winning scratchcard because he misunderstood the rules of the game.

Cemal Celikkanat, 38, said he thought the three £100,000 symbols on Camelot's £100,000 Blue game had to be in a line to win.

By the time Mr Celikkanat, from Dronfield, near Sheffield, realised the symbols could be anywhere on the three-by-three grid he had already discarded the scratchcard and even a frantic search could not help him.

Now he says it has wrecked his life.

He told the Sheffield Star: "When I found out I felt dizzy and dropped to my knees - it was like being hit over the head. I threw away £100,000. I feel so terrible, I think about it every day, it's had a massive impact on my life."

Mr Celikkanat, who works a driver for Royal Mail, said he had split up with his wife because they had been having financial difficulties and the incident was the final straw.

He also said he is constantly teased about it.

The father-of-three said he has played scratchcards for six years and is now wondering how many other winning tickets he has binned.

Mr Celikkanat said he bought the winning ticket at a store in south Sheffield but threw it away outside the shop when he thought he had lost.

He realised his mistake a day later but the bin had been emptied and sent to the Sheffield incinerator, he said.

National Lottery operators Camelot will only pay out if the winning scratchcard is produced.

According to the National Lottery website today, there were still two £100,000 prizes yet to be won on the £100,000 Blue game.

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