Two friends from Bolton, Jon-Ross Watson and Mark Goodram, who came down to London to ‘beg’ came close to stealing millions in fraudulent lottery winnings. So, what went wrong and how were they caught?
Mark Goodram and Jon-Ross Watson couldn’t believe their luck when the lottery scratchcard they’d picked up from a Waitrose in Clapham on Easter Monday 2019 told them they had won £4 million.
In a haze of excitement, the new lottery winners began celebrating carrying on for days. But something wasn’t right because Camelot, the company behind the Lottery, was refusing to pay them the money until they had evidence that the duo from Bolton, Greater Manchester, had won the money fair and square.
Speaking to The Sun during their appeal, Goodram said: “I’m off to see the Queen. This is brilliant. I deserved a bit of a break. We’re made for life.
“I can’t wait to spend the lot. I’m going to buy luxury properties and look after myself.”
However, an investigator from Camelot was on their tails. It was Stephan Long’s job to call back two jackpot winners who, when claiming their winnings, had behaved strangely.
By the time Stephen handed the case over to the police it was clear that these were no ordinary lottery winners, but rather chancers who had come close to pulling off one of the biggest cases of lottery fraud in history.
By March 2020, Goodram, 38, and Watson, 34, had both been arrested and released on bail. Goodram went on to commit two further crimes when he failed to return to court and was only re-arrested last week on December 6, 2021.
But where did it all go wrong for two friends on the brink of having their lives changed forever? We look at the key evidence and events that led investigators to the pair’s arrest, which saw them each handed an 18-month prison sentence on December 14, 2021.
The invisible bank accounts
Stephen Long had first become aware of Goodram and Watson when the claimants had called Camelot to collect their winnings.
Yet, when they were asked which bank account they wanted the deposit to be made to they were unable to answer.
The reason? They didn’t have one. But how had the ticket, which had been bought using a bank card, been paid for if the users of the card didn’t have an account?
When Long called them back the following day they told him it had been given to them by a friend.
Their ‘friend’ John
They said that their friend John owed them money but, when Stephen Long pressed for details, they were unable to give any details about John – not where he lived or even his surname.
Once the case had landed with the police they soon discovered that the card used to buy the winning scratchcard actually belonged to a Mr Johsua Addiman.
The man is believed to have later been paid back for over £150 that the Bolton pals spent after getting hold of his card.
Prosecution barrister Denise Fitzpatrick said at the time: “There was little prospect of success, but that is due to the rigorous checks of Camelot rather than anything done by the defendants.”
Their past actions and convictions
The investigations soon uncovered that the pair had committed various crimes in the past.
Goodram, who was effectively homeless, had a rap sheet listing 24 convictions from 48 offences, while Watson had 73 convictions from 143 offences.
During their trial, Ms Fitzpatrick pointed out to the court that both men had frequently been dishonest in their past, which was reflected in their criminal records.
Goodram’s evasion of court while on bail further damaged his case. The court was told that when the police came to arrest him, he tried to hide behind the sofa. His actions earned him an additional month in jail, taking his total sentence to 19 months.
When the pair were sentenced, the 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.
“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.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.