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Frenchwoman spends big after (thinking) she won lottery

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Photo: AFP
09:32 CET+01:00
Thinking she had won big in the EuroMillions lottery, a 46-year-old Frenchwoman did what just about anyone would do - she started spending the jackpot immediately.

The only problem was that she hadn't taken the time to check the winning numbers carefully enough.

And low and behold they didn't actually match her ticket.

Over the course of three weeks in February and March 2014, the woman issued a series of cheques to fund shopping sprees in the area, including perfumes, clothes and ornaments as she celebrated her win. Her spending quickly hit €4,000 before her family became a little bit concerned.

As the purchases piled up, she didn't receive any contact from the Euro Millions and her family began to worry. Eventually, the woman's husband dropped the bombshell by pointing out that she hadn't had the right numbers.

The woman, a mother living in the Doubs département in eastern France, faced charges of fraud this week for all the cheques that bounced during her shopping spree, l'Est Republicain reports.

Once she realized the winnings weren't on the way, the woman rather than owning up to the gaffe dug a deeper hole for herself by inventing a story that her handbag had been stolen in order to avoid having to pay back the cash.

She went as far as burning the bag so that it wouldn't be discovered, but failed to take into account the evidence of her spending, including CCTV footage.

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Having initially denied fraud, the woman tearfully admitted the charges this week. The shop-owners had contacted her to suggest payment in installments, but she has still not refunded them. "I was too afraid and ashamed," she said, according to l'Est Republicain. "But I'll do it."

The Besançon court handed her a four month suspended sentence with an obligation to work and to pay back the money owed.

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