A gambler is suing a betting company that refused to pay out a £1.7 million jackpot because it said a computer glitch was behind the win.
Andrew Green, 52, spent £2,500 celebrating after he briefly became a millionaire when he won playing blackjack on Betfred’s website in January.
Five days later he was told that he would not be receiving the money because there had been a “software malfunction”. Mr Green, a father of two from Washingborough, Lincolnshire, is now taking the betting company to the High Court for voiding his win.
He started playing Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven on his phone with a £100 stake. After losing all but £3 he worked is way back up with bonuses to £600,000 before one final play won him the £1.7 million jackpot.
After telling him of the glitch, Betfred agreed to cover the cost of his celebrations and offered him £60,000 which Mr Green declined since he would have been required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. While he initially believed the explanation of a glitch, he is now suspicious that the company is just attempting to avoid paying out. He argues that his jackpot fell within the 7,777-1 odds on offer.
Peter Coyle, Mr Green’s solicitor, said that Betfred had refused repeated requests to provide evidence of the glitch.
A preliminary High Court hearing was told this week that the company did not have the game data and cold not force the game developer to had it over.
Mr Green said that he had gone from sheer delight and disbelief to upset, pain and misery. “They are quick to take people’s money,” he said, “but when it comes to paying out they offered money as a gagging agreement. They have buried their head I the sand. How many are there out there who have signed similar agreements?
“I’ve been bullied. They are a multibillion company. I’m just a fish in a big sea and they are a great big shark but I’m not going to be forced away just because they are worth billions and I’m not. Even if there was a glitch I did nothing wrong. I played that game and pressed a button.
“Because I won and for four days they congratulated me for being a millionaire, they should honour that bet. Over the last ten years how do I know all the money I lost wasn’t from glitches in the game and they’ve taken my money?
A spokesman for Betfred said: “Betfred loves to pay out all our jackpot winners, both big and small. Unfortunately, and as Mr Green is aware, a new game release suffered a software malfunction in January this year and no legitimate jackpot win occurred. Given that Mr Green is currently exploring his legal options, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”
“The Times” 3.12.18