Their celebration didn't last very long
By Kate Northrop
Two friends from the United Kingdom had a short-lived celebration after winning £4 million (US$ 5.3 million) in the lottery using a debit card they stole.
Mark Goodram, 38, and Jon Watson, 34, both from Bolton, went wild on a four-day spending spree after discovering they won a £4 million lottery prize from a scratch-off ticket bought with a stolen debit card in 2019.
While they partied and drank for four days straight and fantasized about nothing but luxury cruises and properties, their dreams were cut short by one single question.
At the time of their discovery, Watson eagerly called Camelot, the operator of the UK National Lottery, and handed the phone off to Goodram so he could confirm the win. Following procedure, the National Lottery employee on the other end asked for their bank details so the prize money could be transferred.
Goodram must not have remembered how the pair bought their winning ticket since he revealed that they did not have a bank account to transfer the money to.
It was that slip of the tongue that raised the red flags — how could he have made a purchase using a debit card if he did not own a bank account?
Camelot investigator Stephen Long gave the duo a call the next day to inquire about the card used to buy the lottery ticket. In response, Goodram lied that it belonged to a friend named John, who supposedly "owed him money," but he was unable to confirm "John's" surname or where he lived.
The two friends were not about to give up on their winnings. They hired celebrity lawyer Henry Hendron to release the £4 million prize they thought they were owed, which was being held by Camelot until the investigation could produce an outcome.
The Lottery eventually discovered that the scratch-off ticket was bought with a stolen debit card that belonged to a man named Joshua Addiman and brought the case to the police's attention.
It was then revealed that the thieves had traveled to London in April 2019 "to beg" there since there was "more money to be made" than in their hometown. It was also there that they bought the winning lottery ticket at a Waitrose supermarket.
While there, they also bought about £90 (US$119) worth of items at a Londis convenience store in the same area, as well as four more scratch-off tickets and other items for about £72 (US$95) at the Waitrose.
According to prosecutor Denise Fitzpatrick, one of those tickets also netted the duo a £10 prize.
Both men pled guilty to three counts of fraud and were jailed for 18 months, though Goodram was in for an extra month for breaching his bail.
"There was very little prospect of success, but that is due to the rigorous checks of Camelot rather than anything done by the defendants," Fitzpatrick said, calling the case "very unusual."
Both men were arrested and interviewed in March 2020, but Goodram committed two more offenses while on bail and failed to show up at a court hearing. He was arrested again on Dec. 6.
According to court proceedings, Goodram attempted to hide behind a couch when officers entered the house he was in.
Fitzpatrick told the court that both offenders have "extensive criminal records for dishonesty." Goodram has 24 convictions for 48 offenses on his record and Watson has 74 convictions for 143 offenses.
Goodram also has a "long-standing addiction to drugs and alcohol" and is "essentially homeless," defense attorney Robin Kitching said.
"This was fantasy money... almost Monopoly money," Nick Ross, Watson's lawyer, noted. "When that figure popped up they were in total disbelief."
When their story first broke in the news and made headlines, the duo found themselves on the receiving end of ridicule rather than the support they expected to receive. Ross argued that Watson "had enough of crime" after this "turning point," referencing the one-year-old son he had to take care of.
"You must have thought all your Christmases had come at once," Recorder Sarah Johnston said while handing out the fraudsters' sentence. "Camelot were instinctively and instantly suspicious of the tale you told. You had the audacity to plead your sense of injustice in the national newspapers, subsequent to the fraud being uncovered, you acting together throughout."
Johnston also added a good point — in committing the theft and fraud, they stole an opportunity to win a lifechanging lottery prize from the next innocent lottery player who could have picked that winning ticket.
"The intended loss was not of Camelot," Johnston continued. "It wasn't to Mr. Addiman. The loss was to the next rightful, law-abiding customer who was to go into that Waitrose store in Clapham and purchase that scratch card. For that unidentifiable individual, fate has twisted at the last minute and deprived them of a lifechanging sum of money."
To wrap up the sentencing, she finished by saying that she had no doubt the two friends would continue their malicious acts in the future, citing their "appalling records for dishonesty and theft."
Fascinating story Kate!....... What amazes me is the number of convictions these gentlemen already had on their record. One had 24, the other 74. Yet they only received an 18 month sentence. Also if they had not been total idiots, they could have used the debit card to get get cash back at certain retail stores,(if they had the pin number) used the Euros to buy their lotto tickets and they would have gotten away with it. The thought that these 2 clowns actually prevented someone else from receiving a 4 million Euro payday is really sad.
It's sad to think that these two criminals are back on the street.
Here's an interesting read:
That would have required way too much planning and forethought...
Oh.. It is pounds, nt euros in the UK.. Pounds are worth more than euros :)
The real question is.. what happens with that winning ticket?
Does the prize go to the owner of the stolen debit card?
Or does it go to the bank that probably reversed the charge against the owner's bank account?
Was the ticket cancelled and money refunded?
I wondered some of your points too, but I'd think in GB they would be bearer instrument. Certainly the bank would right the wrong of those perps.
OTOH Kronos which does payroll for many corporations in the USA had a ransomware attack. The sinister side of me with states with RNG maybe they can have a similar attack and make Eddie Tipton's crimes look small.
..The Judge duzzn't seemed to have FINISHED doin the right thing..since those Lottery ticketz were bought with Mr. Addiman's debit card, in which the criminals stole.. the Lottery winnings rightfully belong to HIM, since they used HIZ stolen fundz to purchase the ticketz..
The nerve of some people..!!
I disagree that the winning belong to Mr Addiman since he himself did not play. I think that the criminals should either pay restitution and keep the money or pay restitution and have the money removed and split amongst legit charities and the youth.
Forgot or bad: That's true friendship.
The debit card owner should be awarded the money!
The winnings are "proceeds of a crime", so the State can "seize" the prize... (the idea being that a criminal shouldn't benefit from their crime, In New Zealand, a person stole lots of money (received government benefits he wasn't entitled to IIRC) over many years and invested it in international stocks and gold. He made a lot of money doing that... When he was caught, the State took everything he couldn't prove wasn't funded by his crime..)
So, maybe the State gets the winning ticket :)
Or the ticket is just cancelled and the cost refunded. (It is a state (as in Government) lottery, so . . .)
What if the bank has already made good his "losses" when the debit card was unlawfully used? (meaning, he has not lost any money. Not even the 4 pound cost of the ticket)..
That would mean the bank that compensated him for the fraudulent use of his debit card would be the effective payer ...
A bit like.. If you claim 9and are paid out) insurance on something that is stolen it belongs to the insurer if it is recovered.
I’m guessing their winnings will be taken off them now because of this fraud.
"I think that the criminals should either pay restitution and keep the money"
Well, from yo Statement, we ALL know that you'd make a terrible Court Judge..!!..possibly frontal lobes not fully developed..
Naaah, ..Go rob a Bank, and see if The Criminal Justice System will allow YOU to "pay restitution, and keep the stolen loot"...
Exactly how old are You?
If I have got this right, Camelot refused to pay out, after one responded that they used the cc of a friend while that wasn't so. Stolen money or not, they bought the ticket legally. It was paid for and in their possession? Does Comelot now play judge or what is this? ... What if a transmigrant black African won? An illegal Afghan wanting to sell his cannabis as medical snip on american advice? ...