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Billy's numbers come in, but computer says no

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Billy Moroney from Camblin, New Ross with his ticket prize inquiry slips. Photo: Mary Browne

Billy Moroney from Camblin, New Ross with his ticket prize inquiry slips. Photo: Mary Browne

Billy Moroney from Camblin, New Ross with his ticket prize inquiry slips. Photo: Mary Browne

Lifelong Lotto player Billy Moroney thought his lucky day had finally arrived when he arrived at Tesco New Ross to claim his winnings, but the computer read out suggested his ticket was another flop.

Billy saw the numbers and knew he was on to a winner when he arrived at the counter, but was stunned when informed that the numbers didn't add up to anything, monetarily speaking.

'I have been playing the same numbers all of my life. I went into Tesco with two tickets and she handed them back and said there wasn't a winner,' Billy said.

'She had two slips that were supposed to belong to the tickets. She checked again and I had win ... the total sum was a fiver.'

Billy told the woman it was a serious matter.

'The system is supposed to be foolproof and trustworthy. I rang the National Lottery and got a very bad reception. The lady I was talking to ended up hanging up on me. I got a phone call back the next day apologising for the way I was treated. They didn't accept that their machine made a mistake.'

Undeterred, Billy quizzed the spokesperson about any previous similar incidences and was informed there had been.

'They said it was human error and Tesco said the same thing.'

When it was suggested to Billy that the same ticket was scanned twice, he disagreed. 'I was watching it (the machine) closely in anticipation of a few shillings coming to me. They said if the ticket moves while the machine is reading it it can give out a double reading with two results. The moral of the story is to check your Lotto ticket a lot more carefully. I hand it in and if it's not a winner I throw it in the bin. It's just that I happened to see the numbers this time. The system is more fallible than people think. There are large prizes that go unclaimed, as happened here in Co Wexford. What happens is some of these were incorrect readings. In my case it could have been €500 or €5,000.'

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