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Lottery gaffe: 300 Danes mistakenly told they'd won billions

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Three hundred Danes believed a dream lifestyle of champagne and caviar awaited them this week after they were announced billionaire lottery winners - until they discovered it was a mistake.

All 300 had received an email from the head of the Danish state-run lottery company, Danske Spil, congratulating them on the astronomical sums they had won, Danske Spil spokesman Thomas Roersig said.

"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 ... We are of course very sorry. We have now written to them to inform them of the sum that they really won," Roersig said.

One of the winners, Flemming Dahl, "was a billionaire for an hour-and-a-half" on Tuesday after receiving an email informing him he had won 28 billion kroner (some $3.8 billion), the Nordjyske newspaper website reported.

"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," he told the site.

Roersig said some of the gamers "were disappointed, others were furious and I can fully understand that, but most of them took it well".

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