The Sideshow

300 Danish lottery players accidentally told they’re billionaires

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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(AFP/Jean-Loup Gautreau)

The Danish state-run lottery says it accidentally sent letters to 300 Keno winners falsely informing them that they had each won 28 billion kroner (about $5 billion).

"Three hundred of our lottery players who won the lottery, the Keno, received a message saying they had won a sum in the billions. And they never won that amount," Thomas Roersig, a spokesman for the state-run lottery company Danske Spil told AFP. "We are of course very sorry. We have now written to them to inform them of the sum that they really won," Roersig said.

And while it's pretty unrealistic to believe anyone could literally win billions in a lottery, some of the winners say they took the letters at face value. "My heart leapt and I started thinking of all the things I was going to do with the money: take my family on holiday, buy a new house, a new car," Flemming Dahl told the website Nordjyske.dk.

[Related: Big Michigan lottery winners still getting food aid]

Danske Spil sent out follow-up letters to the winners this week letting them know about the error and updating them on the actual amount they had won. Roersig said some of the winners who received the bad information "were disappointed, others were furious and I can fully understand that, but most of them took it well."

Back in America, California's Mega Millions lottery has risen to $290 million, its highest mark since March, 2011.

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