Explaining to Mrs Holt that she’d won nothing, Nizzar offered to throw the ticket in the bin for her – only to later call the lottery hotline to claim the £1 million jackpot he realised she’d won.
Great-grandmother Maureen Holt (77) and her husband Fred (80) were oblivious to their winnings until police realised that Nizzar’s story didn’t add up. His claim that he bought the ticket at the Best One shop was suspicious, as checks indicated it had been bought at a Tesco Extra store on Huddersfield Road. The ticket was traced back to Mrs Holt’s Tesco Clubcard and CCTV confirmed that it was indeed she that bought the ticket, and not Farrakh Nizzar.
Upon hearing the news, Maureen and Fred Holt seemed delighted at their winnings, particularly as the million pounds would allow Fred Holt to retire with ease. Mrs Holt did add however, ‘I…feel very sorry for [Fred Nizzar]…Everyone calls him Lucky but he wasn’t very lucky this time’.
Nizzar, upon realising his plan had been thwarted, went on the run. He was soon arrested and detained by police in nearby Chadderton. Brothers Mohammed Yasin and Musood Ahmed who owned the Best One shop have revealed their disgust at Nizzar’s actions – particularly on the basis that Maureen Holt was a local and conversed with Nizzar regularly.
Nizzar pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation yesterday at Oldham Magistrates’ court. Camelot, operator of the National Lottery, commented that ‘given the ongoing legal process and the fact that Mr Nizzar is yet to be sentenced, it would be inappropriate for Camelot to comment further on this case’.
Allegations like the Nizzar-Holt case have been described as ‘very rare’ but Camelot still encourages all National Lottery participants to sign the back of their tickets and check if they have won before presenting them in shops. Nizzar’s sentence is yet to be confirmed but it seems unlikely he will be able to return to Pakistan soon – a plan he told his friends about shortly before the news broke.
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