NSW Lotteries $100,000 Battle With Scratchie Punter…

There’s been a number of “false wins” and disputed cases regarding winnings in lotto, casino and online casinos of late. We won’t give you a big list, but you wont find campaigns for the bad eggs on the pages of Gambling911, Media Man or Casino News Media.

Puter Bale Kuzmanovski was excited when he scratched the lottery ticket his wife had purchased him as a birthday pressie. He eyed off an image of a swimmer next to the word ”bathe”…its a win, so he thought. The size of the prize was considerable. Believing he had won the big one… $100,000 “Kasino” (Media Man tag) Kuzmanovski felt an “explosion of elation”. Hold it there…NSW Lotteries argued the point. The swimmer did not match the word “bathe”, it argued. The correct image was a bathtub. The symbol Kuzmanovski had chicked sratched was only a winner if it was accompanied by the word “swim”. The case then went to the Federal Court and, this week, Justice Steven Rares gave the nod to Kuzmanovski. He ordered NSW Lotteries to pay up the $100,000 prize.

The matter began way back in July 2007 when Elizabeth Kuzmanovski bought her husband two $5 Pictionary scratchies from a Parramatta newsagency. After his apparent win, he and his wife turned their thoughts to how they would spend the money…reducing the mortgage, a family holiday to visit his grandmother in Macedonia. But the next day the newsagent put the card through the machine, coming up with the “not a winning ticket” message. Kuzmanovski said he had been deeply angry, felt cheated and spent a sleepless night.

The couple argued in court that “bathe” meaning “swim” was the definition given in at least four dictionaries sold in Australia. Lotteries NSW countered with the Macquarie Dictionary meaning: “Chiefly British: to swim for pleasure”. Justice Rares concluded that “an ordinary and natural meaning in Australian English usage of ‘bathe’ is ‘swim'”. NSW Lotteries will have to pay 3 years’ interest on the prize and the Kuzmanovskis’ legal costs. Got to love a happy ending.