A mystery lottery winner has lost out on a £63,837,543.60 million jackpot because the deadline for claiming the prize has expired.
Somewhere in the UK — in the Stevenage and Hitchin area of Hertfordshire — someone bought a Euromillions winning ticket for a draw on Friday, June 8, 2012.
They just don’t know it, or they can’t know it.
The 180-days (from date of purchase) deadline ran out on Wednesday at exactly 11 pm.
In these situations, National Lottery officials are typically keen to show that they searched thoroughly. Reportedly, an intensive search was launched to find the ticket holder.
Authorities visited the areas to urge residents to search their houses and look in unusual places like bins, fireplaces, and even freezers.
Adverts were placed, and posters posted. A town crier (local county official with a bell or loudspeaker) was even paid to drive around in a Lamborghini announcing the search.
According to National Lottery records, the missed win of nearly £64 million is the biggest, unclaimed Euromillions jackpot in British history.
Now the lump sum, and all the interest it has generated, will go to the “National Lottery Good Causes.”
Since the lotteries’ 1994 launch, “Good Causes” has raised £29 billion either through lottery ticket sales or missed wins. And, reportedly, a huge part of the funds benefits community projects, awards or scholarships, and special needs groups.
A National Lottery spokesperson said:
“Unfortunately, I can confirm that the ticketholder did not come forward within the deadline to claim their prize and has now sadly missed out on this staggering amount of money.”
“The vast majority of prizes are claimed within the 180 days but to avoid this unfortunate situation happening again, we would urge all National Lottery players to check their tickets on a regular basis.”
Of small comfort to the unlucky loser, the spokesperson said there was still one winner — “the nation.”
And the numbers? 5, 11, 22, 34 and 40 — and two “Lucky Bonus” numbers — 9 and 11.
Don’t even think about it.