Sometimes a paper comes out with a front page story that does not seem to justify all the screaming headlines, the hype, and the effort. That is the first impression given by today’s Sun splash, as obedient Murdoch doggie Andrew “Nosey” Parker brings readers “LOTTERY EXCLUSIVE … THE £33M QUESTIONS”. Yes, the Sun has decided it is a fit and proper body to adjudicate on National Lottery claims.
And that’s worth a front page splash? Really? Doesn’t the paper have anything else to tell its readers today? But then, the online headline gives the game away: “Crackpot or jackpot? Even German Sue's ex doesn't believe she's got the £33m winning Lotto ticket”. Ah, the woman who may have had a winning ticket, but left it in a pair of jeans which were then put in the wash, is GERMAN. All is now clear.
[UPDATE 27 January 0940 hours: the Sun just cannot let this story go, to the event that it has put it on the front page for a second day, showing what it claims to be the laundered Lottery ticket with the headline "NOT THE FULL TICKET"
The Murdoch faithful have also managed to find what they first call a "friend" of Susanne Hinte, although it is then conceded that the person concerned is a "former friend". Most conveniently, the "former friend" thinks the idea that Ms Hinte has a winning ticket is rubbish.
The analysis of the "Gran's tatty printout" also notes that the identifying number of the ticket is not merely absent, but that it has been "Conveniently obliterated", just to make sure readers know what to think. Those readers are also reminded that we're talking about a "German Gran".
How the Sun got their sight of the alleged winning ticket is not clear - did money change hands? But what readers do not have pointed out to them is that if Lottery organisers Camelot have sufficient doubts, they will not pay out.
That is their business, and theirs alone. Meanwhile, the Sun's obsessive pursuit of someone mainly because they were born in Germany continues. Not that they're a bunch of bigots, you understand]