Swedish Woman a Tragic Lottery Loser


Bureaucracy confusion caused loss of a share of lotto winnings

A nightmare started for Linda Nyqvist, a 32-year-old Swedish woman, when she changed her address on moving to the village of Hjo, central Sweden, in April last year. She lost out on winning a share of 80.5 million kronor ($11.7 million) due to the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) having her registered at the wrong address, despite the fact that she claims she registered her move with the tax authorities at the time.

It was announced in December 2011 that the residents of Hjo had won 80.5 million kronor in the Swedish Post Code Lottery (Postkodslotteriet), giving prizes to eight people in the village. The thing is that the Swedish post code lottery is based on the concept that if one person buys a ticket and wins, all those who have also bought tickets and share the same postcode as the winner - win a stake in it.

'I saw the headlines in the press saying we had won and my heart started beating harder. But nobody had called me,' Lyqvist said. So she decided to phone the lottery and she was told she was not registered with the tax agency at her current address.

She claimed she had posted her change of address to the tax authority in April: 'Something went wrong, but I don't know how and cannot find out either. The forms have been lost either at the post office or at the tax office. It is awful.'

But Skatteverket spokesman Ingegerd Widell claimed that the agency had not received the change of address notification: 'There's nothing I can say or do.'

At the post code lottery say that, according to the rules, Nyqvist is not considered a winner since she does not officially live at her current address.

'It is of course disappointing when you think you have won but realize that you haven't after all. It is clear from our perspective that the draw has been made and there is nothing we can do to change it,' commented Fredrik Skärheden, administrator at the post code lottery.

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