01/04/2012 : TOUGH LUCK FOR SWEDISH LOTTERY LOSER
Alleged administrative foul-up denies woman a share of lotto winnings
A 32-year-old Swedish woman 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, the English-language Swedish newspaper The Local.se reported this week.
The nightmare started for Linda Nyqvist when she changed her address on moving to the village of Hjo, in central Sweden, in April last year. She claims that she registered her move with the tax authorities at the time.
Fast forward to December 2011, and the announcement that the residents of Hjo had won 80.5 million kronor in the Swedish Post Code Lottery (Postkodslotteriet), giving prizes to eight people in the village.
The Swedish post code lottery is based on the concept 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 win.
“I saw the headlines in the press saying we had won and my heart started beating harder. But nobody had called me,” Lyqvist said. She called the lottery to find out why, only to be told that she was not registered with the tax agency at her current address.
Reiterating her claim that she had posted her change of address to the tax authority in April, Nyqvist said: “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.”
Skatteverket spokesman Ingegerd Widell said the agency had not received the change of address notification. “There's nothing I can say or do,” he said..
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,” said Fredrik Skärheden, administrator at the post code lottery.