€8.24m Lotto prize winner forced to bring in lawyers to claim prize
The person who is claiming to be the winner of an unclaimed €8.2m Lotto jackpot brought in lawyers to work on securing the prize, it has emerged.
The person, who has chosen to remain anonymous, has also criticised the National Lottery for disclosing details of the case to the media.
The case concerns the Lotto draw on March 5.
Athlone solicitors T&M McLynn wrote to the National Lottery outlining that it had contemplated High Court action in relation to the case.
“Our client is disappointed that Premier Lotteries Ireland, the licensed operator of the National Lottery, has seen fit to make any comments about this matter since our client presented to them and made it clear from the outset that confidentiality and anonymity was required.”
“The responses given by the Licensed Operator to such media enquiries may be a matter that the Regulator should give some guidance on for future reference in order to avoid this type of maelstrom of speculation in respect of future winners and the effect it can have on the timing of their payment/collection of prizes.”
The letter clarified that reports of a dispute between a syndicate were untrue.
“Rumour and speculation has manifested in claims that the non-payment to date of the winnings is, amongst other things, due to a syndicate having some sort of an entitlement and an internal dispute arising therein.”
“We can state that such claims are incorrect. There is no syndicate and there is no dispute. There never has been any dispute between the winner and any other third party,” the letter said.
The solicitors firm said it can confirm that its client presented the relevant ticket to the Lottery HQ several weeks ago.
“Due to the failure of the Licensed Operator to immediately sanction payment on same we were subsequently instructed to discreetly negotiate a resolution of the matter.”
It said that following negotiations and a “contemplation” of High Court action, the matter has now been resolved.
“We are now satisfied that the matter has been largely resolved with a recent commitment in writing from the licensed operator to pay out on the ticket to our client the principal sum together with appropriate interest in due course when routine logistics are finalised.”
Yesterday, lottery chiefs issued a new statement confirming the money had not been collected but refused to say why.
A spokesman for the National Lottery said: The National Lottery never comments on the specifics of the claims procedure to protect both the privacy of the claimant and the security of the National Lottery's claims process.
"As is standard practice, any claimant has 90 days in which to claim their prize and we are continuing to engage with the ticketholder. In line with our normal policy, we will not be issuing further comment until the prize has been collected."