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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
MP gives lotto help to newsagent
Michael Foster MP
Michael Foster has an economics degree
A shop which lost its National Lottery terminal is to get the machine back after an MP used his statistical skills to discredit Camelot's decision.

Worcester MP Michael Foster stepped in after the lottery operator ruled that a newsagents in the city had not met ticket sales targets.

The politician, a former lecturer with a degree in economics, proved to Camelot their figures were wrong.

Camelot has written to Mr Foster, blaming "human error" for the problem.

Prabhjot Virk, who runs Virk's Newsagent's in the city's Arboretum area, said that the terminal, which was removed in January, was set to be returned on Tuesday.

"It should never have been taken away in the first place, but we are obviously delighted that Mr Foster has helped us," she said.

New procedures

Mr Foster, who taught accountancy and statistics at Worcester College of Technology, confirmed he was asked to intervene after an unsuccessful appeal against the lottery operator's decision.

"It was a relatively simple mistake to make - and I am glad Camelot have performed this U-turn.

"I am delighted to have been able to help Mr and Mrs Virk.

"They came to me as a last resort, having already lost an appeal, but they got the result they wanted - a win is a win, as they say in football circles.

"There was huge support for them in their battle - including a petition signed by hundreds of local people.

"Little did they know the whole argument centred on a 13-week moving average calculation," the 41-year-old Labour MP joked.

Camelot said they have now put procedures in place to prevent similar problems.

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