Woman asks friend to buy lottery ticket, friend runs off with $200,000 winnings

Efforts to recover her winnings were in vain, as Singapore Pools say prizes will be disbursed only to those who hold the tickets

Singapore Pools stated on their website that they could not withhold the prize money from any person who shows up with a valid winning ticket.
Singapore Pools stated on their website that they could not withhold the prize money from any person who shows up with a valid winning ticket. (PHOTO: AFP)

SINGAPORE — Punters beware: lottery winnings from Singapore Pools are given out only to the person holding the tickets.

A Singaporean woman found out the hard way when she thought she had won $200,000 in the 4D lottery but could not obtain her prize, after the friend whom she had asked to buy the lottery tickets ran off with the winnings.

Her woes were shared in a closed Facebook group, 新加坡工作 Jobs in Singapore SG, on 16 January, as a caution about the dangers of asking someone else to make your lottery bets, according to posts from several media outlets.

Running off with winnings, cutting off all contact

In the post, which was written in Mandarin, the woman claimed she had requested for her friend's help to buy the lottery tickets, even though she usually bought the 4D numbers herself.

It just so happened that she won a substantial prize of $200,000 on this particular occasion.

The woman claimed in the post that she is a single woman earning less than $2,000 a month, and had never experienced such good fortune before. She even promised to split the winnings with her friends and take them to a nice dinner.

Then came the shocking news: the friend who had helped her buy the lottery ticket went missing, refusing to hand over the winning ticket and cutting off all contact with the woman.

Police, Singapore Pools allegedly unable to help

Desperate to recover her winnings, the woman said in the post that she had tried to seek assistance from the police, presenting evidence such as her text conversations and transactions with her friend, as well as a picture of the lottery ticket.

However, the police told her they were unable to intervene, as the issue was deemed a matter between private parties.

The woman said in the post that she had also tried contacting Singapore Pools, but was told that that the prize money will be disbursed only to the person who holds the ticket.

Singapore Pools had stated on its website, "Under our game rules, we have to honour prize payment to whoever presents a valid winning ticket. Hence, we cannot withhold prize payment as and when someone furnishes us with a police report on the purported loss or theft of his/her tickets."

An update on the Facebook post said that the woman and her friends were looking for a debt collector in order to resolve the matter.

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