WHEN the numbers came up she expected her biggest Lotto windfall in 20 years.
But it was a case of not-a-lottery for Elizabeth Wilson who is cursing her luck after winning a paltry £15 having beaten 1000 to one odds.
The 74-year-old matched four numbers on Wednesday night’s draw but was baffled when the newsagent handed over less money than she would have got for three.
The grandmother-of-one from Prestonpans was one of 16,000 hopefuls to hit four numbers which squeezed the prize pot to just £15 per player.
Now Mrs Wilson feels she has been cheated by the Lotto because players who scored three numbers actually automatically scooped £10 more under the bizarre rules.
Lotto operators Camelot defended their position saying: “It is a lottery.”
But Mrs Wilson – who has used the same numbers since the Lottery launched in 1994 – railed against the injustice which she branded “ridiculous”.
She said: “I was so angry. I don’t know how this can be legal and I don’t know what I can do about it. I wasn’t expecting a lot of money – maybe £50 or £60 – but when people who matched fewer numbers than you get more it just seems stupid.
“There will be another 16,000 people in same position who will all be very angry too.
And she added: “I wouldn’t mind if they gave me £25 for three numbers but they won’t even do that.”
Ms Wilson’s bum luck comes days after a Moredun painter and decorator quit his job having scooped more than £7 million on the lottery. Willie Sibbald, 48, hit the headlines after pledging to split his winnings with work colleague Rab Laydon.
Lotto bosses claim Ms Wilson’s low payout was due to large numbers of people – “significantly more than usual” – hitting four numbers on Wednesday. Because the “Match 3” prizes are fixed and paid first, there was less money in the pot to be shared out, resulting in a lower jackpot.
A Camelot spokeswoman said: “The prize for matching three numbers is a fixed amount of £25. It is the only prize tier on Lotto that is fixed.
“In Wednesday night’s draw, we had significantly more winners than usual, with around 60 per cent more Match 3 winners than we would expect.
“This is because the six main numbers drawn were below 31 – and many players like to use special dates as their lucky numbers.”
She added: “While we understand why last night’s Match 3 and Match 4 prizes might look unusual, it is a lottery – and dependent on the numbers drawn and how many people pick them.”
The numbers game
THE odds of matching four numbers on Lotto are 1 in 1033.
The 464 people “lucky” enough to match five numbers – which players have a one in 55,400 chance of doing - would have received just £105 in Wednesday’s draw.
Two winners matched all six numbers to share the jackpot prize of £720,152.
The winning numbers were 5,9, 11, 20, 23, 30.
A total of 16,593 tickets matched four numbers, “significantly more than usual”. It was 10,000 more than the number of match four winners in the Lotto draw on the previous Wednesday.
Because there were far more match four winners sharing a smaller prize pot, they received less than the fixed prize received by the match three winners. There were 236,389 winning tickets in total– with a total prize fund of £7,557,069.
The three biggest payouts for matching four numbers are £210 in March this year, £207 in April this year and £204 last Saturday.
The smallest ever match four prizes were £12 in 2010, and £14 in 2013.