Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 12:03 UK

Lottery fraudster to pay 15,000

Dorothy McDonagh: "This is not the final episode"

A Swindon woman whose winning lottery ticket was found and cashed in by someone else has been told she will be paid more than half the original prize.

Dorothy McDonagh, 61, dropped the ticket on the floor of her local Co-op.

Michael and Amanda Stacey, 34, who spent half the money, were later given 11-month suspended sentences for fraud.

A judge at Swindon Crown Court ordered Michael Stacey to pay Dorothy McDonagh £15,111 - the £111 being interest on the payment.

Cleared debts

The case came to light after Mrs McDonagh was able to prove to lottery firm Camelot that she had bought the winning ticket because she had kept the receipt.

However, by this time the couple who found the ticket had claimed the prize and spent about £15,000 clearing their debts.

Police froze the remaining £15,000 and brought charges against the couple.

If it's cash on its own, with no means of identification, the next charity box gets lucky
Megan, Cheshire

A spokesman for Camelot said: "We have a clear lost-and-found policy.

"If a member of the public finds the ticket they should send it to our prize payout department, setting out in writing the circumstances of the find and the steps they took [if any] to reunite the ticket with its rightful owner.

"If no corresponding prize claim or lost ticket notice has been received, the prize may be paid to the finder at Camelot's discretion after the expiry of the 180-day claim deadline."

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