TWO friends say they have been refused a £4 million scratchcard jackpot because they are just "two working class lads from Bolton".

The pair’s barrister Henry Hendron said: “I doubt they would have had this much scrutiny if they were two posh guys.

“These guys are from broken homes and have had nothing all their lives and they are now faced with £4 million. the pair have been targeted because they are “two working-class lads from Bolton”.

He added that if the lottery provider Camelot did not pay the windfall before Tuesday then papers would be issued to the High Court.

Camelot have taken the view that the funds used to buy the card did not belong to the pair. 

Mr Hendron added: “They are cash strapped and penniless. This type of thing does not typically happen to boys from Bolton."

Mark Goodram and Jon-Ross Watson used the card to buy the winning ticket in a Waitrose store in south London on Easter Monday.

However, after attempting to cash in the ticket, the pair’s criminal past came to light, prompting Camelot to investigate.

They have since taken the view that the funds used to buy the card did not belong to the pair, neither of whom have bank accounts, and said they will not be paying out.

They are both convicted criminals and Mr Goodram has 22 convictions for 45 offences.

He is understood to have been released on police licence from prison just weeks before the win — having been sentenced to eight months imprisonment for burglary in November.

Mr Watson also has burglary convictions and has appeared in The Bolton News’ ‘Most Wanted’ lists a number of times, including in July 2017 for failing to appear in court regarding an offence of burglary.

Mr Goodram and Mr Watson had previously told The Sun newspaper that the card belonged to a friend called John — but could not provide his surname, address or phone number.

Despite the controversy, Mr and Mr Watson, who bought the £10 National Lottery scratch card a trip to the capital, are determined to celebrate.

They have been pictured celebrating with champagne and cocktails, and Mr Goodram told The Sun that he would spend his potential winnings on luxury properties.

Mr Hendron accused Camelot of playing “judge, jury and executioner” and holding the pair “ransom to their past”.

He added: “My clients have a valid ticket. There is no dispute that they bought the ticket and no dispute that the ticket is genuine.

“They have got no proof that the card was stolen, police are not investigating this. They (Camelot) are acting like snobs from London against boys from Bolton.

“They are gutted. For the first time in their lives, they had the break that they needed. They have been homeless and are sofa surfing.

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“The last few weeks has been agonising for them. I can see how they have come across badly. We all make mistakes, but we have to be allowed to walk away from that past and put it behind us.

“If others keep pulling up people’s past it prevents them from having a future.

“Camelot should just pay out and pay out now - this has gone on long enough.”