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Lottery freebie apology for scratchcard misprint which denied Harold Hill cancer patient £80,000 jackpot

18:00 02 February 2014

Tom Gray with what he believed was the winning scrathcard. Picture: Jim Bennet

Tom Gray with what he believed was the winning scrathcard. Picture: Jim Bennet

JIM BENNETT 0208 309 6066 07836 225 329

The 75-year-old cancer patient who was denied £80,000 scratchcard winnings which officials claimed was a “misprint”, has been sent eight complimentary cards as an apology.

His daughter, Alison Gray, took a coin to the cards to reveal their winnings were just £15.

Tom Gray, of Dagnam Park Drive, Harold Hill, thought he had hit the jackpot when he matched two dice on his Lucky Streak scratchcard – until Lottery officials explained that the ticket was an error.

A line of ink is missing, which Camelot, the National Lottery 
operator, says would reveal a dot, making the dice a five rather than a four.

On receiving the complimentary cards, Miss Gray, of Pilgrims Hatch, Brentwood, told the Recorder: “I can’t bring myself to scratch them.”

Her fear is that if she took a gamble on the cards that would be her appeal over.

“For them that is the end but I will take this up with the Gambling Commission,” she said.

The commission has advised her that it can make sure Camelot follows the procedures correctly but cannot force it to pay any winnings due.

A Camelot spokesman said: “The analysis has confirmed that, due to an isolated fault with one of the print heads, this particular scratchcard was printed with some of the game play data missing.

“We appreciate the disappointment caused as a result of this print error and have apologised to the player.”

Mr Gray was diagnosed with prostate cancer three months ago.

The former gas and central heating fitter had wanted to share his jackpot winnings with his grandchildren.

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