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A pensioner claims his £6.5 million winning lottery ticket was stolen and claimed by someone else.
Peter Rhodes, a 60-year-old veteran, only buys lottery tickets when there's a particularly large sum up for grabs.
On this occasion, he not only bought a ticket, but allegedly won the jackpot - unfortunately, he's not seen a single penny of those winnings.
Speaking to The Mirror, he said: "It's a life-changing amount of money. They haven't stolen from me. They stole my kids' futures. That money was going to be for them. I turned 60 a couple of weeks ago and I never asked anything from anyone."
Rhodes alleges he took the ticket into a shop in London back in October 2019. When he handed over his ticket and it was put through the machine, he said it make a noise as if to indicate he'd won a prize.
He explained: "When I first went in and handed it over the shopkeeper put it in the machine and it made a noise, meaning it was a winning ticket of some sort.
"I didn't know how much was on it and he then refused to give me my ticket. I asked for my ticket back and he took three steps to the right and put it under the counter.
"I leaned over and saw he had about 80 tickets under the counter. He picked one up and paid me something like £11.40.
"He tried to say it was my ticket and it wasn't. I know it wasn't because I folded mine twice and put it in my wallet and this one was flat."
Rhodes eventually contacted Camelot, who proved he'd bought a ticket worth £6.5 million. Alas, there was a nasty twist of fate - someone else claimed it already, apparently.
He said: "Then I got a call from their fraud department saying they are shutting down the case because they won't pay out twice.
"I was so frustrated because it was the start of lockdown and I went to the police and they told me it is a civil matter.
"If National Lottery really cared about changing people's lives - then they need to sit up and listen. They would have more respect if they came out and help shut down shopkeepers who do this."
In a statement to the publication, the Metropolitan Police confirmed the case had been closed as there was no evidence of any fraud being committed.
Camelot hasn't commented on the case as Rhodes is pursuing the National Lottery with solicitors.
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