A PENSIONER has spent 25 agonizing years trying to prove he once won a £2million lottery prize but lost the golden ticket.
Robert Clemett, from Sydney, claims he did not realize the jackpot was his until a story about the unclaimed prize was broadcast on TV four years later.
On September 23, 1997, the Oz Lotto draw would produce three major winners.
Instead, one huge jackpot remains unclaimed – the largest outstanding prize in New South Wales history.
Clemett has spent decades fighting for the prize money after he said he realized his mistake while watching a broadcast about unclaimed lottery prizes in 2021.
He then immediately wrote to the lottery company to demand his win.
He claims he bought the all-important ticket for £32 from a newsagent and it came with a game of six winning numbers.
He provided details of the time and date of his purchase, the number of games he played, the type of ticket and the exact composition of the numbers.
In 2014 he sued the state lottery over the unclaimed £2 million, but his case was dismissed by the judge.
About 50 people have contacted the New South Wales (NSW) Lotteries to claim the windfall.
However, Clemett is the only one who fought for it all the way to the NSW Supreme Court.
The state lottery told the court that his claim without a ticket was invalid and that they were not obliged to pay out the large amount.
The judge later dismissed the case.
‘I’m not satisfied that he did that [buy the ticket]Judge McCallum said.
She argued that he could honestly believe that he had submitted the winning entry after “convincing himself over a period of years that he was the rights holder”.
Clemett was subsequently forced to pay the NSW Lotteries’ legal costs.
Yet the unlucky lotto player still appears to have not backed down on his claim that the jackpot is his.
In a Facebook post in 2019, he fumed: “Why an AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN bought a WINNING TICKET in a GRAND LOTTERY DRAW, but some TWENTY-TWO YEARS later, DIVISION FIRST PRIZE MONEY is still yet to be AWARDED.”
He added that he has “begged” the NSW Supreme Court to reconsider so that some “semblance of justice” can one day be “delivered”.
Adding to the mystery, another Sydney retiree has also claimed he once had the golden ticket.
David Renshaw has accused a shop assistant of throwing away the ticket that would secure £2 million in winnings, the Hawkesbury Gazette reports.
He told a court in 2020 that when he handed over the ticket, the words “provisional winner” came up.
Renshaw then claimed that the person behind the till – who reportedly didn’t speak English very well – threw it in the bin and declared “no winner”.
Since he was on parole at the time, he didn’t want to fish it out of the trash in case he was accused of “stealing.”
The lottery’s defense was that even if the ticket was Renshaw’s, he was far from having time to make the case.
In 1997, legislation dictated that you only have three years to claim lottery winnings.
The law was later extended to a period of six years, but still, the lawyers argued, it was “once again well overdue.”
It comes as if a lottery team won half a million pounds, but they only took home £12,500 each as it had to be split between 40 of them.
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The mega win comes after another lottery winner told how a £3,000-a-month win for 2024 has ended up being a curse.
Brisbane’s Craig Hill saw his luck wiped out when authorities told him they would take half of his earnings.
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