What could be one of your worst nightmares? How about thinking you’ve won a lot of money – perhaps starting to spend it, then finding out you haven’t? Here are two very cautionary tales that prove you shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch. Read on to find out about the people who mistakenly thought they’d won the lottery but hadn’t.
Chinese Man Thinks He’s Made a Fortune…
In Southern China, a man threatened to kill himself after he realized he had spent all his savings celebrating after he believed he’d won a lottery prize of 5 million yuan which roughly equates to US$788,000.
The 28-year-old hailing from Jinjiang in eastern Fujian was contacted by the police before he took any action to harm himself, it was reported in the local press at the time.
The man was a frequent lottery player who had spent a lot of time trying to work out how to beat the odds and make a huge jackpot win.
He thought he’s “calculated” a winning lottery number and bought a ticket, placing it in a drawer. When he went to check the winning numbers just over a week later, he misremembered his own numbers and thought he had won the jackpot of 5 million yuan.
Naturally overcome by the news, he treated a group of relatives and friends at a nightclub, and in the process spent all his savings of 5,000 yuan and ended up overdrawn by 3,000 yuan on his credit card.
Only after he woke up the next morning and compared the numbers, did he realize he had made a mistake. “I felt I’ve lost all face and my hope to continue living,” he was quoted as saying. After calling his girlfriend, he told her he was going to commit suicide. His girlfriend alerted the police who arrived at his home and talked him out of his plans.
When You Think You’ve Won a Big Jackpot… Check Carefully
Here’s another cautionary tale…
Nathan Moody, a father, hailing from Teesside in the North East of England thought he had bagged thousands on his lucky dip for Saturday’s Lotto draw. He got his hopes up when he went back to the store to check his ticket and was told he had won a massive sum of money – but that it was too big for him to collect there and then.
He excitedly planned a holiday, what would have been his family’s first trip abroad for a partner, Charlotte, and children Mason, seven, Kaci, five, and Jakobi, two.
Nathan, who lives around the corner from the convenience store where he purchased the ticket, said: “It made a beeping noise to say I had won. The shop assistant was quite shocked. The machine was telling him it was a big payout and that I should contact Lottery HQ. He gave me a pen and told me to write my name on the back of the ticket. Everyone in the shop was over the moon for me. I waited up until about 11 pm to check the lottery app on my phone. When I checked it, it told me I had a free lucky dip.”
Immediately after the draw, Low Grange Store appealed on its Facebook page for the real winner to come forward. The post said the ticket holder could pocket around a £50,000 prize.
It looked like Nathan had had his ticket scanned during what is known as a “draw break” – a period immediately after a draw where the numbers and prizes are being worked out by Camelot. Devastated, he went back to the shop the next day to check again.
“The machine made the beep again and it gave me a free lucky dip. That was it – he took the ticket and gave me the printout that says I’m entitled to a lucky dip. I had won no money. I was absolutely gutted. I couldn’t speak, I was devastated. I knew it wasn’t the £1m raffle, but I assumed it was one of the 10 prizes of £20,000. I was talking to my partner about getting everything sorted and paying my bills. We could have got a nice little car, and helped my mum and dad out. “The most I’ve ever won before is £100. I do it about once a month,” he said, speaking to the local press after the story was made public.
A spokesman for Camelot, who runs the National Lottery, explained the anomaly and said that confirmed the ticket was scanned and the National Lottery terminal displayed the following message: ‘Results not in. Return the ticket to the player and tell the player to check another day.
The ticket was then scanned the following day at the same store at 09:40 am, and it was correctly identified as having won a ‘Match 2’ prize, which constitutes a free Lucky Dip ticket for either Wednesday’s or Saturday’s Lotto draw, he confirmed.
National Lottery players have around a one in 45,057,474 chance of winning the lottery and this has changed since Camelot changed the way the lottery is played in the UK. Professor Ian Walker from Lancaster University Management School comments: “There are 14 million ways of picking six out of 49. But there are 45 million ways of picking six out of 59. So it’s about three times harder to hit the jackpot. There will be fewer big jackpot winners, so there will be more rollovers, which will generate more big jackpots. And more balls mean that the chances of matching three of the six winnings balls go from one in 57 to one in 97. So it’s harder to win and a lot harder to win big.”
The onus here is on the player to make sure that they thoroughly check their numbers before they rush out and spend anything. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and if you believe you have won – then the best course of action is to contact the lottery headquarters in the country/state you’re in and talk to someone about your potential winnings. Keep your lottery ticket safe and don’t let anyone else have access to it.