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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 December 2006, 13:43 GMT
Euro jackpot lost in player error
EuroMillions ticket
Tickets for the draw can be bought in nine European countries
Members of a Belgian lottery syndicate who thought they had won 27m euros were dealt a huge blow when they found their winning numbers had not been entered.

For weeks the group of 30 players had been using the same combination for the EuroMillions jackpot.

They were overjoyed when it matched the winning numbers in Friday's draw.

But the group of friends were crushed when it turned out the person charged with buying the ticket had allowed the machine to choose random numbers.

The syndicate includes the owners and patrons of the cafe La Fraternelle in the town Mouscron, south-west of Brussels.

"One of us came into the cafe after the draw on Friday and said we had won 27m euros," owner Christiane Farvacque told the BBC news website.

No forgiveness

"We were all celebrating. Everyone was calling family and friends," says Mrs Farvacque.

You think you are the only winners in Europe, but you end up with nothing
Christiane Farvacque

But when she phoned lottery organisers, she was told there had been no winning entry.

"We knew something was wrong," she said. "We spent all night trying to find out what had happened."

In the morning Mrs Farvacque tracked down the person who had bought the ticket - the owner of a bookshop across the street - and found that she had failed to enter the correct combination.

"We were all bitterly disappointed," she said. "You think you are the only winners in Europe, but you end up with nothing."

Mrs Farvacque made clear her friendship with the bookshop owner would not survive the disappointment.

"Even in 20 years' time, my hair will stand up on end whenever I see her," she said.


SEE ALSO
Euromillions winner 'in hiding'
31 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland

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