Two friends attempted to fraudulently claim a £4,000,000 scratchcard win after buying it with another man's card.
The men have been jailed after Camelot, the company that operated The National Lottery, uncovered their fraud.
Mark Goodram and Jon Watson, from Bolton, had travelled to London on April 22, 2019, 'to beg' as they thought there was 'more money to be made' there.
Once in the capital they bought a scratch card from a Waitrose store in Clapham and won the £4 million jackpot.
However Camelot quickly became suspicious of their win when Goodram revealed he did not have a bank account.
Camelot knew the winning scratch card had been bought with a card and so began an investigation, the MEN reports.
Bolton Crown Court heard, Watson, 34, excitedly rang Camelot, before passing the phone to Goodram.
An operator asked for his bank details so that the money could be transferred but the 38-year-old let slip that he did not have an account.
The next day, an investigator from Camelot, called Stephen Long, rang Goodram back and asked about the card used to make the purchase.
Goodram told him that it belonged to a friend named John, who 'owed him money', but could not confirm the man's surname or where he lived.
They later hired celebrity lawyer Henry Hendron to try and get Camelot to release the £4 million, which was held pending the outcome of the investigation.
Camelot's investigation was eventually passed to the police when they found that the scratch card had been bought fraudulently, using card details belonging to a man named Joshua Addiman.
Prosecution barrister Denise Fitzpatrick described the case as ‘very unusual’ and said: "There was little prospect of success but that is due to the rigorous checks of Camelot rather than anything done by the defendants."
Both men were on licence at the time of the crimes and were arrested and interviewed in March 2020.
While on bail, Goodram committed two further offences when he failed to show up at court. He was eventually arrested on Monday, December 6 and remanded in custody.
The court heard that when officers attended at the house he was in, Goodram tried to hide behind a sofa.
Goodram, of no fixed abode, has 24 convictions for 48 offences, while Watson, of Nuttall Avenue, Little Lever, has 74 convictions for 143 offences.
Ms Fitzpatrick told the court that both men have 'extensive' criminal records for 'dishonesty',
Defence barrister Robin Kitching said that Goodram has a "long-standing addiction to drugs and alcohol" and that he is "essentially homeless".
Watson's lawyer Nick Ross said: "This was fantasy money... almost Monopoly money. When that figure popped up they were in total disbelief."
He said that since the incident and due to the media coverage, Watson has become the subject of ridicule.
Mr Ross added that Watson, who has a one-year-old son, has "had enough of crime" and described the incident as a "turning point."
Both men were jailed for 18 months, after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud.
Goodram was given an extra month for breaching his bail, taking his total sentence to 19 months.
Passing sentence, Recorder Sarah Johnston said: "You must have thought all your Christmases had come at once.
"Camelot were instinctively and instantly suspicious of the tale that you told.
"You had the audacity to plead your sense of injustice in the national newspapers, subsequent to the fraud being uncovered.
"You acting together throughout."
She added: "The intended loss was not of Camelot. It wasn't to Mr Addiman. The loss was to the next rightful, law-abiding customer who was to go into that Waitrose store in Clapham and purchase that scratch card.
"For that unidentifiable individual, fate has twisted at the last minute and deprived them of a life-changing sum of money.
"This type of offending is serious. It is rooted in greed and a total lack of respect for the property of others.
"You both have appalling records for dishonesty and theft.
"I have no doubt that both of you will continue to offend in dishonest ways in the future."
Investigations also found that they had used the same card details to buy £90.56 worth of goods from a Londis in Clapham.
Along with the winning scratch card, the pair also used the details to buy four other scratch cards and other items totalling £71.78, from Waitrose.
Another one of the scratch cards had a prize of £10 and the man successfully claimed this in-store.
Mr Addiman, who the card belonged to, received the fraudulently-spent money back from his bank.