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Last Updated: Friday, 18 March 2005, 15:02 GMT
Spaniard's lottery win wait over
Washing machine
There was no scam - or money laundering
A Spaniard who accidentally put his lottery ticket in the wash six years ago can finally claim his winnings.

The lottery organisers had refused to pay out because the winning ticket was presented in many different pieces.

They feared a scam, in which lots of lottery tickets may have been washed and then pieced together afterwards to look like one ticket.

But after expert examination, a court has ruled Miguel Carnerero can claim his rightful 36,000 euros (25,000).

The court said microscopic analysis of the pieces showed the edges matched up perfectly and it would be "almost impossible" to have made them from different tickets.

Mr Carnerero bought the ticket, with the winning number 42,169, in 1999 in a bar in the Basque city of Vitoria.

He later left it in his trousers and put them in the wash.

The organisers Once - the National Organisation of Blind Spaniards, which runs the biggest lottery in Spain - refused to pay out when they saw the pieces.

Their decision was backed by a court, but on Thursday that decision was over-ruled by a higher court, meaning the pay-out can proceed.

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