I ‘won’ £3million but never got the money – a ‘torturous’ blunder destroyed my marriage

A MAN who ‘won’ a £3million jackpot but never got the money has revealed how the ‘torturous’ blunder destroyed his marriage.

Martyn and Kay Tott, from Hertfordshire, bought a winning National Lottery ticket but a major mistake left them with nothing.


Martyn and Kay bought an unclaimed ticket worth millionsCredit: Mirrorpix
But due to a big mistake, they were left with nothing


But due to a big mistake, they were left with nothingCredit: Mirrorpix

The lovebirds were overjoyed when they realized they had bought an unclaimed prize worth a whopping £3 million in 2001.

But their luck quickly faded when they couldn’t find the winning ticket.

The couple was confident they had won because the jackpot numbers matched the numbers they used every week.

After confirming they had bought the ticket at their local Londis, the excited couple rushed to tell lottery organizer Camelot to claim their prize.

What should have been a life-changing victory ended in an endless nightmare when they were told they couldn’t get the money.

They fell victim to a little-known rule that states lost tickets must be reported within 30 days – and their period had expired.

All we did was bicker – unfortunately we both agreed we should split up and Kay moved out

After 45 days of deliberation, Camelot told the devastated couple that they would not win the jackpot.

Martyn told the Mail on Sunday: “Having that money taking it away was torture.

‘For a long time I lost sight of who I was and what I believed in.

“There’s no guarantee it would have brought me happiness.”

I almost missed out on winning £166,000 in the Postcode Lottery – I won the jackpot just hours before I moved

Plea for help

After the heartbreaking blunder, the couple launched a public campaign for help.

They managed to get celebrities on board to show their support, including Richard Branson and Tony Blair.

Sir Richard flew the couple to his private Necker Island for a week in an attempt to do just that cheer the couple up.

Blair’s wife Cherie Booth QC offered her legally opinion at a reduced rate, but felt the case was not worth pursuing.

Despite their efforts, Camelot did not budge.

The horrific accident caused Martyn and Kay’s marriage to fail.

He added: ‘We had only known each other for two years and the lottery ordeal quickly exposed our differences.

‘All we did was bicker. Unfortunately, we both agreed we had to separate and Kay moved out.”


Kay was forced to leave their home in Hertfordshire, while Martyn quit his job.

Martyn wrote an autobiography about the harrowing experience while living on dwindling savings.

The man then decided to turn to Christianity and began a relationship with an American woman named Tanya in 2003.

Martyn went to stay with Tanya in Nashville, Tennessee, where she introduced him to a church group led by a “self-proclaimed apostle”.

He tried to become a permanent member of the church, but returned to Britain after discovering that all members had to pay 10 percent of their income to the church leader.

In March 2007, six years after the Lotto ordeal began, Martyn’s lawyers took the case against Camelot to London’s High Court.

Martyn was warned that he would have to pay Camelot’s legal costs worth £400,000 if he lost.

His wealthy sponsor, Jonathan Bunn, then withdrew.

Read more about the Irish sun

And Martyn was suddenly confronted with the fact that he would never see his lost millions again.

Two years later he published his novel Six Magic Numbers.


Do you have a winning ticket?

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£1m UK Millionaire Maker: Bought in Chorley with last date to claim April 21, 2024

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£1m UK Millionaire Maker: Bought in North Lanarkshire with claim deadline of 28 April

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£1m UK Millionaire Maker: Bought in Northumberland with deadline for claim May 1, 2024

£84,616.60 Match 5 + 1 Star Prize: Purchased in Edinburgh, with deadline for claim May 1, 2024

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£500,000.00 Thunderball: Bought in Redditch with deadline to claim June 5, 2024

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