2.5 million register for free Dutch lottery draw set up to say sorry

With one day to go, over 2.5 million people have signed up to take part in a free draw for €13.5m in prizes, the Staatsloterij organisation told news website Nu.nl on Friday.

In total, seven million lottery tickets have been allocated to players who claim they took part in the lottery between 2000 and 2008, when the lottery misled people about their chances of winning.

Lottery operator Staatsloterij agreed in April to compensate players after admitting that unsold ticket numbers were included in its regular draws between 2000 and 2007, as well as the Queen’s Day draw in 2008.

This meant the chances of winning were less than people realised. The top prize of €1 million was ‘won’ by an unsold ticket five times during the seven-year period.

Players don’t have to prove they took part in the lottery during the years in question but those who can are being given four not one or two tickets for the May 27 draw.

The total prize money set aside is €13.5m, including five prizes of €1m

The compensation lottery draw is the result of years of court cases and compensation claims by several organisations.