Stolen ticket wins 1.2 million crown lottery

Crime doesn't pay, we're told. But it almost did - in a big way - for a 15-year-old boy in Örnsköldsvik who decided to try his hand at shoplifting last week. He managed to steal a winning lottery ticket.

But the shopkeeper recognised the boy from one of the security tapes and confronted him when he realised he was a shoplifter. He went to the boy’s house and the boy returned the ticket, revealing three clovers underneath the scratched off silver panel on the stolen ticket.

According to Tuesday’s Dagens Nyheter, the ticket was worth at least 1.2 million crowns – or possibly up to 7.5 million crowns on a ‘roll over’.

The story could have ended there, but it doesn’t. The store manager is now consulting a lawyer to see if he can claim the winning ticket for himself – but his chances don’t look good.

State-owned Svenska Spel, the body behind the draw, says neither the boy nor the manager will get the payoff because, legally, the ticket is owned by Svenska Spel until someone buys it, scrapes it and wins. Since that didn’t happen in this case, there are no winners.

“I’ve never heard anything like it”, exclaimed Claes Tellman, Information Officer at “Svenska Spel”,

In a classic Swedish understatement, Svenska Spel added that the chances of buying ticket with such a high payout are one in three million, so the odds of actually stealing one are extremely low.

And this being Sweden, the young man at the heart of the story will probably not face any charges.

Jenny Lepley/Judi Lembke