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Lottery winner loses out on millions after mix-up

Lottery winner loses out on millions after mix-up

Published: 03 Jan 2012 12:36 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Jan 2012 12:36 GMT+01:00

A 32-year-old woman in Sweden recently lost out on winning a share of 80.5 million kronor ($11.7 million) due to the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) having her registered at the wrong address.

“It’s a nightmare, I have not slept for a week,” said winner Linda Nyqvist to daily newspaper Expressen.

Nyqvist recently changed her address when she moved to Hjo, in central Sweden, in April last year.

In December it was announced that the residents of Hjo had won 80.5 million kronor in the Swedish Post Code Lottery (Postkodslotteriet), giving dividends to eight people in the village.

“I saw the headlines in the press saying we had won and my heart started beating harder. But nobody had called me,” she told Expressen.

The reason as to why nobody had rung Nyqvist emerged when she called the administrators of the lottery who explained that she was in fact not registered with the tax agency at her current address.

The address change had been made accordingly on April 8th, but somehow the details never reached the tax office and had been, somewhat ironically, lost in the post.

“Something went wrong, but I don’t know how and cannot find out either. The forms have been lost either at the post office or at the tax office. It is awful,” Nyqvist told the paper.

And according to the agency they have not received a request for a change of address, and the department that deals with registering new addresses claim Nyqvist has been registered at her old address all the time.

“There's nothing I can say or do,” Ingegerd Widell, an administration officer at the tax agency, told the newspaper.

The administrators at the post code lottery say that Nyqvist is not considered a winner since she does not officially live at her current address.

“It is of course disappointing when you think you have won but realise that you haven’t after all. It is clear from our perspective that the draw has been made and there is nothing we can do to change it,” says Fredrik Skärheden, administrator at the post code lottery, to Expressen.

“I can only live in hope that the error will be corrected,” said Nyqvist.

The Swedish post code lottery is built up around the idea that if one person buys a ticket and wins, all those who have also bought tickets and who share the same postcode as the winner, also win a stake in the dividends.

Jenny Sundelin (jcsundelin@yahoo.co.uk)

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Your comments about this article

15:24 January 3, 2012 by johan rebel
"The administrators at the post code lottery say that Nyqvist is not considered a winner since she does not officially live at her current address."

Typical Swedish inflexible bureaucratic crap!

I play in the Dutch zip code lottery, as the tickets are much cheaper, and a considerably higher percentage of takings is paid out to winners compared to the Swedish one.

My Dutch zip code ticket number is not even that of my current Dutch business address, but that of an old c/o mail address in a village where I last lived in 1974. The Dutch Postcodeloterij confirmed in writing that I could keep that number, regardless of where I actually live, which happens to be in Sweden!
16:36 January 3, 2012 by swedejane
"There's nothing I can say or do,"

I swear, that should be Sweden's national motto.
17:07 January 3, 2012 by Rebel
Talk about a bunch of sheepish robots. Is this what the so-called NWO wants the rest of the world to be like?
19:16 January 3, 2012 by Challie70
Just wow. In the last six years I have lost over 3000kr due to mail not being brought to me or someone not recieving something I mailed. Sounds like the postal service here should start working on making things better. I come from USA and one thing I notice is Swedes accept a lot of sorry we can do nothing. I bet if you bitched, threw a fit and slept on their doorstep with a lawyer something would be done. They say we are sue happy in USA, but sometimes you have to be or you get walked on.
21:18 January 3, 2012 by bjorkon
sad. just a few enquiries would make it clear that the person actually lived at that address, and what a good PR for the postcode lottery that would have been if they allowed the win. The ticket was purchased after all so why should they give a crap ..
09:18 January 4, 2012 by robban70226
Had you ever seing a Swede take rsponsiiliy for anyhing? Specially their incompetence?
09:59 January 4, 2012 by skogsbo
I'm on the lotteries side, Sweden being the way it is, it's no secret, there are somethings you don't leave to chance and you check or chase up and confirm. Tax, car registration, insurance those kinds of things. Everything else is less urgent. But anything that is tied directly to your personal number is worth keeping right. I guess she has paid the price.
10:12 January 4, 2012 by Grindsprint
If your ragistration at the tax agency delays, normally it doesn´t matter much. Most people use eftersändning to get their mail to the right adress. Just because a lottery has decided to use those registers doesn´t mean that all of a sudden there should be more pressure on the tax agency to work faster. It should be up to the lottery to make sure everybody is aware that its your tax agency registration that counts, not where you live. And in this case they should just accept that the registration was late and fix it!
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