Scratchcards with no chance of winning


National Lottery scratchcards that have no chance of winning are on sale throughout the UK, according to a report in the Sun.

An investigation revealed that £100,000 red Cash cards are still for sale, despite the fact that the top jackpot prizes have already been won.

Lottery organiser Camelot says the cards can legally remain on sale, but consumer champion Martin Lewis, of Money Saving Expert, wants them replaced with tickets that actually have a chance of winning the top £100,000 prize.

Lewis told the newspaper: "One would hope if you are buying a scratchcard that advertises a chance to win a £100,000 prize that you actually have a chance.

"Camelot should be doing everything to communicate the situation over the cards or be withdrawing the cards and replacing them with a new tranche."

No chance
Sun reporters purchased the unwinnable cards in shops and petrol stations in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge, Plymouth and Glasgow. More than 12 million were printed, with the odds of winning the top prize 2,449,904-to-one.

Now the five jackpots have gone, players have eight chances to win £2 to £5,000.

Regulator agreed
A Camelot spokesman told the newspaper: "All the top prizes have now been won and we have ceased distribution of the game. However, as there are still thousands of other prizes available and, as agreed with our regulator, retailers can continue to sell through the stock they have activated for sale."

According to the Daily Mail, a spokesman for the Advertising Standards Agency said last night that it would launch an investigation if any complaints were lodged.

Public reaction is mixed, with some feeling duped and ripped off by the move, while others highlight that the tickets do have a disclaimer on the back stating that the top prize may already have been won at the time of purchase.

Massive fraud
Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, spoke out about the investigation in a blog post: "If this is true, this is a shocking indictment of the way Camelot runs the National Lottery. If Lotto customers have been buying cards without a Jackpot available, it suggests a massive fraud has been perpetrated on the public.

"It is bad enough that Lottery ticket prices have been raised to £2 – with money set aside for a £5 million bonus pot for senior Camelot Staff, but it is unacceptable for customers to be sold a pup – buying tickets that don't have the main prize it says. If the Sun Report is as bad as it seems, this is hucksterism at its worst."

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