Swiss lotto draw chaos denies jackpot winner million

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File pic of lottery ballImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The jackpot winner was pulled out in front of a TV audience of hundreds of thousands (file pic)

A Swiss man won a million and then lost it on Saturday, when a televised Swiss lotto draw went chaotically wrong.

For Andreas Bürkli it would have been a lottery dream come true, when his name was pulled out of a drum and announced by German singer Herbert Grönemeyer.

Swiss public TV channel SRF apologised after declaring him the winner, explaining that a mistake had been made due to technical problems.

A new draw will be made and the winner will find out after Christmas.

Swiss website Blick tweeted the moment that Mr Bürkli's win was declared on Swiss German TV show Happy Day, complete with ticker-tape fanfare and a briefcase loaded with cash.

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Here's how it went wrong (we think)

  • Potential winners paid 10 Swiss francs (£8; €9; $10) to enter and sent their tickets back to lottery operator Swisslos in the hope of winning the CHF1m jackpot. Ten lots were entered into the final draw
  • As Herbert Grönemeyer and TV host Röbi Koller prepared for the draw, the names of potential winners rolled on a screen behind them
  • All 10 in the draw had to be ready by their phones. More names were held in reserve to be added if someone was not contactable
  • One of the 10 was not contactable and another had a phone number missing, so the organisers moved on to lots 11 and 12. As lot 12 was not contactable they passed on to lot 13
  • At this point there was confusion as only nine names appeared on the screen
  • With time running short, a lotto official rushed in and mistakenly put 11 lots into a drum manually
  • Mr Bürkli's name came up and Herbert Grönemeyer rang the phone number. There was no answer
  • The show came to an end

As reported by Blick

In a later statement, a Swisslos official apologised and said the draw had to be carried out manually because of technical problems. "In the hectic rush", it said 11 names were loaded into the drum rather than 10, and the extra one had been drawn.

The official stressed that according to the rules the man declared the winner was not eligible because he had not picked up his phone.

Asked how Mr Bürkli had accepted his moment of lottery misfortune, the Swisslos official said he had taken it very well: "You could even say he was a good sport."