Bulgarian lottery cancels 2.5M euro jackpot payout on suspicion of fraud

Bulgaria’s prosecutor’s office said on August 8 that it pressed charges of fraud against two individuals who sought to claim a 5.03 million leva (about 2.57 million euro) jackpot of the Bulgarian state lottery.

The Bulgarian Sports Totalisator state lottery said on June 26 that the jackpot in the second draw second draw of the 6 of 49 game was won by a resident of the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Varna – the name of the winner was not made public as, under Bulgarian law, he or she must give their consent.

Several days later, however, the lottery asked the police to investigate the case, suspecting that its database was hacked, the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) reported on August 8, citing sources familiar with the investigation.

The prosecutor’s office said that it detained two 19-year-old residents of Varna, who are accused of trying to perpetrate large-scale fraud. According to the BNR report, one of the duo was arrested when he tried to claim the jackpot using a fake lottery ticket and the other was detained shortly afterwards.

The state lottery would put the money back into the 6 of 49 game, broadcaster Darik Radio reported.

The current jackpot in the second draw of the 6 of 49 game is 1.6 million leva, but it was not immediately clear whether the money from the earlier jackpot would be added in time for the next draw, scheduled for August 10.

The Bulgarian Sports Totalisator was founded in 1957 and is the main sponsor of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee and other sport bodies in the country, which make it the main source of financing for sport in Bulgaria. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Sports Ministry.
It operates a national system for spreading of lottery games (called ‘toto’ in Bulgarian) – the digital games 6/49, 5/35 and 6/42, all with a rising jackpot and twice-a-week draws, on Thursdays and Sundays.

(Bulgarian state lottery ticket office. Photo: Timo Kirkkala/flickr.com)



The Sofia Globe staff

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