A British woman has claimed she has the missing £33 million (Au$67 million) lottery ticket from the recent record draw but unfortunately the ticket has been through a wash in her jeans pocket. The machine wash has resulted in the barcode to fade away from the winning ticket.
According to BBC News, the woman, who does not wish to disclose her identity, rushed into her local newsagent, Ambleside News, in Worcester, on Friday, with the worn-out piece of paper. The winning ticket produced by her bore the combination of numbers – 26, 27, 46, 47, 52, 58 – but the date, barcode and serial number had been washed off.
The woman first approached newsagent Natu Patel, who runs Ambleside news in the Warndon area of the city. “She said to me it had been through the wash,” Patel, who said he believes that the woman does hold the winning ticket, told BBC.
“It was in a washed condition and so, of course, in a slightly poor state,” he added. “But I think if Camelot have the ability to be able to break it down and check it, they’ll do what they have to do.”
The woman reportedly told Patel that she has been a “nervous wreck” all week and was unable to sleep at night because of the tension surrounding her apparent win. “Since I found it in my jeans pocket, my daughter and I have been drying it out with a hairdryer. You can see the 2016 but not the date,” she told The Times.
“This is one of only two shops I buy my tickets, and I remember coming in here the day before (the draw), because I had to buy something else.”
Patel is also excited about the whole situation. “It would be wonderful if it was bought here. I would be very, very happy. We have sold many winning tickets but only for £25,000 or £20,000. A few people have won £1,000,” Patel told The Sun.
“In the 27 years that my wife and I have run this shop we have done quite well and made a lot of people happy with their Lottery wins,” he added.
The lottery boss Camelot confirmed that it was aware of the case after the woman sent the ticket’s remains to them. Camelot also added that the woman will need to undergo some formal procedures to claim the money. The company however is expecting several people to claim the same prize money.
“We get quite a few of these, we get them with any unclaimed prizes and with this being quite a large amount we would expect several claims,” the spokesperson said.
The unnamed woman now has 180 days, until July 7, to provide sufficient evidence to the authorities that her washed-out ticket is indeed the winning one.