Hugh Elliott of Roanoke invested $10 in last weekend’s big lottery jackpot, and like me and everyone else in the Roanoke Valley, he came up a loser once again.
But then the retiree received a mailing Monday stamped “Royal Mail” that informed him he was the lucky winner of a British lottery he’d never entered.
Elliott, 77, had scored $150,000 in the “UK & North American Shoppers Sweepstake” (sic), purportedly sponsored by The National Lottery Inc.
“You have won this prize by shopping in one or more of the selected stores in North America: Wal-Mart, Sears, Walgreens, Kmart, Costco, Staples, Home Depot, Office Depot etc.,” the letter reads.
There was only one hitch: $1,950 in British taxes had to be paid on Elliott’s prize before it could be disbursed to him, the letter said.
Helpfully, the mailing also included a check, made out to Elliott in the amount of $3,750. It was drawn on Fifth Third Bank, a major mid-western financial institution. Curiously, the payor was Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. in Lafayette, Ind., which also is a real company.
All Elliott had to do, according to the letter, was cash that check, then wire the $1,950 to a British tax agent.
The letter goes on: “After the applicable taxes are paid, you will receive a second check which will be the balance of your winning (sic) (US$146,250).”
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