Lost Tickets, Missed Deadlines, and Other Lotto Stories That Will Make You Cringe
The Ultimate "Lottery Fails" (and How to Avoid Them!)
The internet is full of stories about happy lottery winners and their big checks, who lived happily ever after, after scooping a big jackpot. Unfortunately, not every lotto story is a bed of roses. For example, can you imagine matching all numbers of your favourite lottery but arriving too late to collect the prize? Or realising your lucky numbers were finally drawn, only to find out you have lost your winning ticket?
These “lottery fails” happen more often than you think. Check out the stories of the unluckiest lottery winners on the planet – and some tips to avoid their stories from happening to you!
1. The Sydney Man Who Realised He Had Won the Oz Lotto Four Years Later, When Watching a Show about UNCLAIMED Lottery Jackpots
This story became famous in Australia in the early 2000’s, when a man started a legal battle to claim a $3.3 million jackpot he supposedly hit four years before.
In 2001 Robert Clemett was watching a TV show about unclaimed lottery winnings when, suddenly, he recognised a very familiar case: one of the unclaimed jackpots were from an Oz Lotto draw from September 23rd, 1997, of which he did take part. And the numbers drawn on this date were – of course – the lucky numbers he uses every time he plays the lotto!
According to him, he didn't remember to check the results of that draw because he was in a very stressful moment of his life. He was about to lose his home and was preparing for a heart surgery that week, so checking his numbers was the last thing on his mind.
But he did write down the last five digits of the Ticket Serial Number (TSN) in a receipt book in February 1998. Even though he claims to have lost the ticket in 2000, he used the TSN as main proof for his case. He wrote several letters to the lottery attempting to claim his prize but was rejected every time.
And that’s when he decided to lawyer up and invest all money he had in the legal battle that went on for almost 17 years! Unfortunately, the case was dismissed by the judge in 2014, who affirmed there were not enough evidence to support Clemett’s claim.
2. The Two Men Who Threw Away a Ticket worth $1 Million USD
Erick Onyago and Salvatore Cambria became the unluckiest lottery winners of New York, when they had the chance to scoop $1 million USD and – you guessed right – they didn’t.
In a rainy day of March 2013, Onyago decided to buy three US PowerBall tickets and gave one of them to his pal Cambria. Onyago checked his tickets and nothing. No luck. Cambria went online to check his and, the same. No luck. So the man threw his ticket away, like anyone of us would do.
However, later on that day, Cambria realised he had checked the results of the previous draw instead! Apparently, the website of the lottery had not been updated by the time he checked his numbers, and it was showing the previous winning numbers.
For their desperation, they realised the recently tossed ticket had 6 of the seven winning numbers for that day's draw! Such match would entitle them to a $1 million USD (approx. $1.3 million) prize!
The almost-millionaires went more than the extra mile to try to retrieve their winning ticket: they traced the whole route of the garbage truck, only to find out their ticket was probably already in a dumping ground in Canada! But what won't you do for $1 million?
They hired lawyers and personnel to try and look for the ticket, but maybe a needle in a haystack would have been easier. They never found the ticket and their sad story made the news in the whole country.
3. The $27 Million USD Jackpot Lost Because of 7 Seconds
Can you imagine thinking you won $27 million USD and finding out later on you actually didn’t? This Canadian man still has that bitter taste in his mouth, after seven years of legal battle.
Joel Ifergan has been denied this multi-million jackpot because his winning ticket was printed seven seconds after the deadline.
It all begun in May 2008, when this accountant from Quebec decided to go to a convenience store to buy two tickets for the lottery “Lotto Super 7”, for that night’s drawing. It was already 8:59pm when they began the transaction, and the checkout assistant warned him the deadline to enter that drawing was 9pm.
They printed both tickets but the second one, the winning one, was printed seven seconds after 9pm, What are the odds?!
Ifergan sued Loto-Quebec (the organ that manages lotteries in this state) for the processing hold-up, only to go through the pain of missing out on the money yet again seven years later.
4. The Winner Who Went to Claim the Prize in the Wrong Address and Missed the Deadline
On a Friday of 1995, the Connecticut man Clarence Jackson decided to buy a lottery ticket, as he did every week.
At that time, Jackson was responsible for taking care of both his parents, his mother with diabetes and his father with a terminal disease. Therefore, checking the results of his weekly lottery tickets was the last thing on his mind at that moment.
About a year later, Jackson’s sister, Sheila Cole, sees in a newscast that the winner of the $5.8 million USD jackpot still hadn’t come forward and that the deadline was that same day, at midnight. She then decides to check some old lottery tickets they had at home. And that’s when she saw it.
They had the winning ticket! They were the missing millionaires! The only problem was, it was now 11:15pm on a Sunday and their deadline to claim the prize would be over in 45 minutes.
But all Clarence needed to do was to go to any store and validate his ticket. He did not know that, though. The 25-year-old man thought that all he had to do is go to the Lottery Office the next day. The next day was a bank holiday, so he went the day after, only to find out his ticket was worthless!
The legal battle has been going on now for 19 years. This case became very popular in the US due to its implications for the current legislation about lottery prizes. After lottery officials had refused to bend the rules, the state House of Representatives voted that year (1996) — and two times after that — to retroactively change the deadline and give the kid the money.
But the state Senate never approved the bill, and Jackson never got a dime.
How Not to Join the List of “Lottery Fails"
Let Us Worry about Checking Results
As you can see, the number one "lottery fail" is forgetting to check results. Billions of dollars in lottery prizes go unclaimed every day around the world because people forget to check results.
But can you blame them? In the busy world we live in, we simply have other things on our minds than sitting in front of a screen and checking numbers.
Having this in mind, Lottoland® decided you should never have to worry about checking lottery tickets again! When you play online with us, you will receive by e-mail the results of the games you've played, and also a notification in case you won anything.
If only Robert Clemett and Clarence Jackson would have played online with Lottoland®… Their lives would certainly look different now, with some millions more in their accounts and no legal battles to fight!
Even Erick Onyago and Salvatore Cambria - who did remember to check their numbers but checked the wrong results – would probably still be rich today if they had played with Lottoland®.
They would have received in their e-mails a notification that they won, and next thing they know, their money would be waiting for them in their bank accounts. No tracing tickets in Canadian dumpsters, no stress over having to live with the fact they had it so close!
Toss Those Pieces of Paper for Good!
Losing a winning ticket is the next most frequent "lottery fail". When you play lotto offline, your whole future might be decided by that small piece of paper. And, like any other piece of paper, it can be lost, stolen or just end up in a bin somewhere.
And let's face it. It's 2016! Such important item should be safely stored digitally, like everything else nowadays.
That's why when playing online with Lottoland® you won't have to print a receipt or present any piece of paper to claim your winnings. You will receive your submitted play slips by e-mail, just for your reference. Because once you win, the money will be automatically credited to your player's account, ready to be transferred to your bank account.
Trust the Play Slip
As per Joel Ifergan and the seven seconds delay that ruined his life? If he had played with Lottoland® he would have had to select, on the play slip, the draw on which his ticket would be participating.
In case the deadline to join that draw would be over, that option wouldn't be shown on the play slip anymore, obligating him to enter the next available draw instead.
No confusions, no false expectations, no "almosts"!
Just Play Online with Lottoland!
No pieces of papers to be lost, no results to be checked, a simple and straight forward play slip that will allow you to submit your games with just a few clicks. Simple as lotteries should be!