A mum has told how she was left feeling sick after she thought she had won £30,000 on the postcode lottery – only to discover she was just a tenner better off.
Cash-strapped Dawn Rivers, 63, received a text message from the People's Postcode Lottery saying she had bagged a cash prize on Christmas Eve.
The message had a £ sign, with no amount specified, leading her to believe she was set for a visit by an official with news of a life-changing sum – just like in the TV adverts.
Dawn, a part-time cleaner, had already started planning how she would spend the cash, even promising her daughter a portion of it.
But when she called the People's Postcode Lottery on January 4, she was left devastated after they told her she had won a paltry £10.
It turned out there had a technical fault with her text, which meant it had not displayed the £10, only a £ sign. Had she clicked the link in the message, she would have discovered the sobering reality.
Dawn said it came as a massive sickener after she had dressed herself ready every morning at home in Bournville, Birmingham, in wait of the postcode lottery visit and big colourful cheque.
She told BirminghamLive: "I've won £10 before, if it's a tenner they just put a little message to say you've won £10 it's gone in your bank," she explained.
"But if it's a big one, like 10, 20, 30 or 40 grand, they usually put that on your phone and say they'll come knocking. That's the advert that advertised for three years now.
"Well that's the advert, if your postcode lottery comes up they'll come knocking on your door, so that's why I was waiting.
"You know when you think you have won something and your mouth dries up? That's what happened.
"I was so excited to have a bit of money to play with, I had already spent it in my head. Buying some extra things for the house. I told my daughter I would help her out after Christmas.
"I got dressed every morning waiting for the postcode lottery to come to my door. It makes you feel sick when at the end of it you haven't got it. That's what's really annoyed me."
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A spokesperson for the lottery said it never made reference to a big win and provided a link detailing the £10 win within the text.
When asked if she clicked through, Mrs Rivers said she wasn't "good at using technology" and hadn't been able to use the link.
She added: "She said you've won £10, I almost felt like telling her where to stick it you know.
"They have put me £10 in my bank. I rang and spoke to the manager. He just said that he is sorry.
"I feel absolutely let down. They said it was an error. I said: 'Why didn't you tell me, why didn't you text me back, why did you let me think all over Christmas that I had something to look forward to and at the end of it you've took it from me?'
"It doesn't make sense."
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A spokesperson for People’s Postcode Lottery said: “The winners of our biggest prizes, such as Postcode Millions or £30,000 a day, are always contacted in person and may also be visited by a Postcode Lottery ambassador. This is reflected in our marketing.\“Text alerts are only used to notify players of smaller wins.
"There was no error in the drawing, distribution or notification of prizes. A technical fault meant that in this instance, the value of the £10 prize was not stated within the text itself but recipients could still click the link included to confirm the value of their win.
“Our customer experience team confirmed the situation on two occasions and we remain in contact with the player concerned.”
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