A man accused of using a stolen bank card to buy a winning lottery ticket is now homeless after he was denied his £4million prize, his friends have claimed.
Mark Goodram, 36, bought the winning ticket with friend Jon-Ross Watson, 31, just days after being released from prison.
The pair went on a four-day bender in London after discovering their numbers had come up, using money borrowed from friends to guzzle on champagne and post pictures holding £50 notes on social media.
But Camelot, which runs the National Lottery, refused to pay out over fears a stolen bank card was used to buy the £10 scratch card after it emerged neither Goodram nor Watson have a bank account.
A friend told the Mirror: ‘You hear about rags to riches, but he has gone from the champagne lifestyle, thinking he was a millionaire, to being on the street, drinking cheap cider and hanging with beggars.
‘He came out of prison not long before his win, but he has been booted out and now he is on harder times than ever.’
The friend added: ‘He is really frustrated because of the hold on his winnings, but he still believes he’ll get the money and says he will take Camelot to court if they don’t pay.’
After they were questioned on the absence of bank accounts, Goodram and Watson initially claimed they had bought the scratch card with loose change.
They later changed their story and claimed a mystery friend called ‘John’ had bought the winning ticket on his debit card for them.
When they were further questioned about John, they could not give his surname, address or phone number.
They have since claimed he wants to remain ‘anonymous’ and has moved ‘up North’.
The men, both from Bolton, claim they have no knowledge of a stolen debit card being used to make the purchase.
Watson and Goodram both have extensive criminal records and have separately appeared on Bolton’s Most Wanted lists over the last few years for crimes in the town.
Goodram has 22 convictions for 45 offences – including burglary – and Watson has 72 convictions for 133 offences, including bank fraud.
Camelot refuses to pay people with stolen tickets, but they have not outlined their procedure for the use of suspected stolen bank cards.