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Winners feel cheated

Winners of the Lucky 3 Nagaland Silicon online lottery lodged a complaint with the the crime branch, reports Megha Sood.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2006 02:25 IST
Megha Sood

Winners of the Lucky 3 Nagaland Silicon online lottery lodged a complaint with the social service wing of the crime branch on Wednesday. The angry winners alleged that when they approached the authorities, instead of receiving their reward, they were handed over a notification from the Nagaland government, declaring the particular lottery null and void.

Nana Patil, president of the Maharashtra Rajya Vikreta Sangh, along with several lottery winners, have in their complaint alleged that the lottery organisers duped them. “We do not know the Nagaland government; we trust the Playwin authorities and will obviously approach them to make our claims. They claimed that there was complete transparency. So, if the gunmen actually threatened the judges to declare ‘903’ as the winning number at 7.15 pm, the draw should have been replaced,” said Patil. “I have requested the CBI to investigate the matter,” Patil added.

“The innocent lottery buyers are not at fault. They should be given the prize they have won fair and square,” said Umesh Kansal, a lottery retailer who was cornered by angry customers with claims amounting to Rs 15 lakh.

Where the retailers and dealers are facing problems handling customers, the winners cannot digest the fact that they have been denied the prize.

“I bought 10 tickets with the hope that I would win. I could not believe my stars that I had actually won Rs 50,000. I made plans to spend the amount, but when I approached the organisers, all my hopes were shattered when they declared the draw null and void,” said Santosh Gupta, a resident of Goregaon.

Rahul Tangri, assistant vice-president of Playwin, told the Hindustan Times: “Playwin is just a marketing agent for the state lotteries and the onus lies on the Nagaland government. It is up to them to check the security of the draw. The draws are carried out under the supervision of the government and Playwin only receives the recorded tape of the draw kept for transparency.”

“The winners would have received the winning amounts had the draw been valid. The Nagaland government believes a large numbers of tickets were bought against the ‘so-called winning numbers’ and were known to some people in advance. These people were a part of a well-planned conspiracy,” he added.

Tangri said that around 8.30 pm, the authorities got suspicious and judging from the payout per cent of the lottery, they felt some people had bought tickets in bulk of the same number, two hours prior. The trend was that players buy tickets only 15 to 20 minutes before the results. Tangri alleged people from five cities were involved, adding: “We have identified the people and given their names to the police. The culprits will be caught soon.”

Author email: megha.sood@hindustantimes.com