A factory worker has told how he became an instant celebrity — when prankster pals claimed he scooped a massive Lotto jackpot.
Dumbfounded Andrew Louden, 22, from Dalkeith was swamped with texts and calls after the jokers posted congratulations on him winning last week’s massive £81 million EuroMillions draw.
They even mocked up photographs to put online of him at his local bank.
But, in fact, the £15,000-a-year apprentice has just £400 in his account, drives a 19-year-old Mazda and still lives at home with his mum and dad.
But the joke backfired spectacularly when Mr Louden was snowed under with requests by members of the local community trying to cash in on his presumed good
He even had to call his ex-girlfriend to tell her the rumour wasn’t true.
He said: “It’s unbelievable that it escalated so quickly. It was just a joke that got out of hand.
“There was a rumour the winner was from this area and I guess my mates decided it should be me.
“My phone was constantly ringing and some guys in the pub even recognised me as that guy that won the lottery.
Mr Louden told how the gag appeared on Facebook on Friday – three days after the real winner scooped the prize of £81,381,673.
He said soon after he was bombarded with friend requests online.
He also became a huge hit at Dalkeith School Community Campus, where he is studying hydro mechanics part-
He added: “My mates were just mucking around. It just shows you that news travels fast.
“They wanted to fool everyone and it worked.“
“Needless to say I will be putting the lottery on every week now I know what it feels like to be a millionaire.”
His dad, Adam, who works with Andrew at engineering firm MacTaggart Scott in Loanhead, said: “It’s just a joke that got out of hand.”
Andrew, who admits he and his mates are constantly dreaming up wind-ups, said this one was the “best yet”.
Last Tuesday’s real winner has chosen to remain anonymous and is now sixth on the National Lottery Rich List.