There are countless examples of lottery players who miss out on a huge win when their regular numbers are drawn – and, for whatever reason, they haven’t purchased a ticket that week.
But what about in the opposite scenario? That’s exactly what led 80-year-old Denis Fawsitt to bank an outstanding £116,124 from the Euromillions draw.
The pensioner plays the lottery every week, picking the same numbers based upon the birthdays of his family members.
However, on this fateful trip to his regular local shop in March to buy a ticket, Denis had forgotten his glasses and couldn’t see the numbers on the play slip in front of him – he ended up buying a Lucky Dip ticket instead.
And, lo and behold, you can probably guess the rest – he landed five main numbers and a Lucky Star to scoop a £116,000 prize.
— The National Lottery (@TNLUK) April 13, 2021
Fawsitt, a former builder and coal miner, and his wife Ann, who worked at a KP factory, are now planning on going nuts by splashing out on a makeover for their home and garden.
“I realised I had forgotten my glasses and tried to pick my numbers, but I just couldn’t,” the 80-year-old said. “I went to pay for my papers and asked the lady behind the counter for a Lucky Dip. It turned out to be one of my best decisions ever.
“After what happened in the newsagent, I had this funny feeling we were going to win.”
When quizzed as to how they had celebrated their windfall, Ann confirmed that jigs of joy and flutes of champagne were not on the menu. “Not at our age, especially with Denis’ bad back. Denis had a drop of whisky and I had a small sherry.”
And the Ones Who Got Away….
The Fawsitts were on the right side of a quirk of fate that has changed their life….sadly, not everyone is as lucky.
The £182m Admin Error
You have to feel for the young couple from Hertfordshire who, due to an admin error, cost themselves a Euromillions win of a handy £182 million.
Rachel Kennedy had an automated order in her lottery account which purchased a ticket – with the same numbers – every single week.
However, on one occasion the 19-year-old forgot to add the necessary funds to her account, and so her normal ticket wasn’t automatically purchased….you guessed it, on the week when the same set of numbers she had been using came up.
“I called the number thinking that I had won £182million, and they said ‘yeah you’ve got the right numbers but you didn’t have the funds in your account for the payment of the ticket so it didn’t actually go through,” she said with remarkable calmness afterwards.
In the ‘old days’, the vast majority of lottery players purchased a paper ticket rather an online, and that had a habit of leading to other issues.
Lost Ticket Misery
One couple would have won £3 million back in 2001 but for one thing: they couldn’t find their winning ticket.
They only realised they had won when Camelot launched an appeal to find the big money winners, and a legal loophole – lost winning tickets must be reported within 30 days of the draw taking place – meant that Martyn and Kay Tott never got their hands on their winnings.
The Discarded Million Dollar Ticket
And how about one American, Salvatore Cambria, who made a $1 million mistake back in 2013.
He asked his roommate, Erick Onyango, to read out the winning numbers from that week’s Powerball draw, and as Onyango read out the triumphant digits Cambria realised he wasn’t a winner – casually, he screwed up his ticket and threw it into the bin.
However, Onyango had mistakenly read out the numbers from the previous week’s draw, and the ticket that Cambria had in his hand was actually worth $1 million.
The duo, realising their error, set about tracking down the ticket, and amazingly they somehow traced it to a landfill site in Ontario. However, the paper could not be retrieved and so Cambria was left to curse his luck.
“I punched a hole in my [bedroom] wall, right through the sheetrock,” he said, reflecting on a day that also included plenty of ‘hysterical crying’. As it would, really.