A British pensioner is experiencing the worst nightmare of her life: Losing a ticketÂ that has won a Euro million lottery jackpot of Â£113million â€“ the biggest payout everÂ in Britain.
According to a report in todayâ€™s Daily Mail online, the pensioner whose identity isÂ still kept secret lost the ticket, through no fault of hers, but the blunder of herÂ husband.
The pensioner says she gave him her ticket for safe-keeping before theÂ EuroMillionsÂ draw â€“ and he threw it away by mistake.
â€œI checked my notepad where I write down my lottery numbers every week after IÂ readÂ in the paper that the winning ticket was bought in Coventry,â€™ she said.
â€œI couldnâ€™t believe it when I realised that my numbers matched the winning ones.
â€œI told my husband to get the ticket out and double check. But thatâ€™s when heÂ toldÂ me that heâ€™d binned it.â€
Speculation about the identity of the ticket holder has been centred on the WestÂ Â Midlands since the draw 12 days ago.Â The pensioner, who wants to remain anonymous,Â said: â€œI play every week. I playÂ the lottery, the EuroMillions and the ThunderballÂ but my husband takes theÂ ticket off me and I donâ€™t see it again.
â€œThatâ€™s why I always write my numbers down. I went down to the newsagent andÂ showedÂ him my pad. He said, â€˜My God! Youâ€™re a winner!â€™ but I said, â€˜Iâ€™m not aÂ winner â€“ theÂ ticket has been binned.â€™
â€œIâ€™ve turned the house upside down. Iâ€™veÂ looked in his pockets and in my bag andÂ everywhere. Iâ€™ve said to my husband,Â â€˜Youâ€™re never going to get another ticket offÂ me.â€™
â€œHe loses everything I give him. Only last night I found a lottery ticket thatÂ hadÂ won Â£10 in the bin.â€
If they are the rightful winners, the couple, who haveÂ been married for more thanÂ 50 years, have already lost Â£8,500 a day in interestÂ since the draw on October 8.
The prize, however, would still put them 589th on Britainâ€™s rich list, with moreÂ money than Robbie Williams, David Bowie or Rod Stewart.The supposed winner, whoÂ isÂ Irish-born and in her 70s, told the Coventry Telegraph: â€œI was so angry atÂ first,Â but thereâ€™s no point in being angry about it.
â€œI couldnâ€™t be angry with him now. My whole life is taken up with him.â€
TheÂ coupleâ€™s daughter-in-law is now trying to help them get their hands on theÂ Â fortune by contacting staff at lottery operator Camelot.
She said: â€œMyÂ mother-in-law plays the lottery every week and always checks herÂ numbers. She is certain she had the winning ticket.â€
The woman is understood to live in the affluent suburb of Earlsdon, on the outskirtsÂ of Coventry.
Bob Sharda confirmed she had visited his post office there to show staff her winningÂ numbers, scribbled on her notepad.
Mr Sharda said: â€˜She is an Irish lady who lives locally but I canâ€™t tell you anyÂ more than that. Camelot have told us not to say a thing about this until Friday.â€
The post office sells lottery tickets from a news counter at the front of the shop.Â CCTV cameras overlook the counter and the lottery terminal, which will help CamelotÂ to verify her claim.
Last night, Camelot spokesman Simon Horne refused to confirm or deny that theÂ Earlsdon store had sold the winning ticket and said any advice given to Mr. ShardaÂ was a matter of standard procedure.
â€œAll of our retailers are bound by a retail agreement not to discuss winners orÂ matters relating to a potential claim because all winners have the right to remainÂ anonymous, and the majority of them do,â€ he said.
â€œThe winner beat odds of more than 76million to one to pick the numbers 9, 30, 35,Â 39, 46, with lucky stars 6 and 8 and scoop the Â£113,019,926 prize. Coventry has beenÂ awash with speculation that there is a multi-millionaire within the city.
Camelot says it has paid out a handful of major prizes â€“ over Â£50,000 â€“ in casesÂ where winning tickets have been lost.Â If, within 180 days of the draw, no otherÂ claims has been made for the ticket, the prize money may be paid out to the finderÂ at Camelotâ€™s discretion.