“The whole thing has been quite a shock."
Narendra Gill, aged 52, of York, was jailed for 28 months after she tried to swindle £130,000 from a pensioner after claiming he had a losing lottery ticket.
Leeds Crown Court heard that Gill swiped the EuroMillions lucky dip ticket from retired deliveryman Frank Gowland after checking it at her shop in Leeds.
The 81-year-old did not realise he had a winning ticket – which had five winning numbers and a Lucky Star – until police told him it was stolen a few weeks later.
Staff at Camelot, which runs the lottery, became suspicious when Gill called them to check the ticket and they heard her serving customers at her GT News shop.
She admitted to working in the now-closed GT News shop at the White Rose Shopping Centre.
But she claimed she was gifted the lottery ticket and did not know where it was bought.
Camelot called the police. Officers identified Mr Gowland via CCTV footage, spotting him and his wife Sue getting into a car at the shopping centre.
Gill admitted theft and fraud.
Recorder Dafydd Enoch QC told her she had been “unbelievably cruel”.
He added: “People who work in these places need to hear the message that you cannot abuse your position when it comes to dealing with millions of pounds. Trust is so important.”
Gill was jailed for 28 months.
After sentencing, Mr Gowland said: “The whole thing has been quite a shock.
“I had no clue I’d won until I got this phone call. I couldn’t hear what the PC was saying so I asked my stepson to deal with it.
“He said to the officer, ‘You must be joking, this is a scam’. Anyway, it wasn’t and I had won.”
Mr Gowland, who is partially deaf, remembers giving Gill eight tickets to check.
She told him they were all losers and handed him back crumpled tickets, not realising she had switched them.
Mr Gowland added: “The police knew everything. They even knew we bought toilet roll on the day.
“They told me the woman phoned Camelot, 15 minutes after I left, claiming to have a winning ticket.
“But they smelt a rat. She was lying through her teeth. It’s unbelievable really. I might never have known.”
The £46 million jackpot rolled over after the May 4, 2021, draw. But two Brit tickets, one bought by Mr Gowland, each won £130,928.
The winning numbers were 3, 10, 13, 28, 46 with one of the 4 and 11 Lucky Stars.
Mr Gowland eventually received his winnings in November 2021.
He told The Sun: “It has certainly helped to make life a bit more comfortable.
“I bought a new car, cleared all my debts and gave quite a bit of money to my family. We’ve had new carpets and we’re getting a walk-in shower for my wife, who has health problems.”