Mystery winner may be from HK

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 January, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 January, 1996, 12:00am

A MYSTERY Chinese man - possibly from Hong Kong - has won GBP14 million (HK$167 million) in the biggest payout from Britain's national lottery.

The man, who gave his name only as Simon Choy Tat-sai, picked up the money from organisers Camelot earlier this week, stayed at a HK$3,585-a-night London hotel and flew out, destination unknown.

The Daily Mirror and The Sun reported that a Chinese man was one of three winners sharing the record HK$504 million prize.

One suggested he may have struck it rich while visiting. He might also have flown in simply to buy tickets for a syndicate.

The cheque was made out to Simon Choy Tat-sai, which the papers suggested translated as a 'vegetable getting rich'.

The win has led to speculation that the lottery, six numbered balls selected at random, may have been cracked by a syndicate, possibly from Hong Kong, where until recently it was possible to win more than the cost of buying all 45 Mark Six numbers.

But experts believe the English lottery is too sophisticated to be manipulated and a gambler would have to outlay HK$167 million to cover all combinations.