25-year chase for lost £2 million lottery ticket

Robert Clemett has spent over 25 years trying to claim a £2 million lottery prize, insisting he lost the winning ticket after a 2001 TV program about unclaimed jackpots sparked his memory. Despite legal battles and a court dismissal, Clemett remains convinced of his win, reflecting a journey of hope and obsession over an unclaimed fortune.

Publication: 25.12.2023 - 11:42
25-year chase for lost £2 million lottery ticket
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In a twist of fate that reads like a movie script, a man's claim to have won a £2 million lottery jackpot has led him on a 25-year journey filled with legal battles and unfulfilled dreams. The story began in 1997 in Australia, when a major lottery jackpot went unclaimed. No one stepped forward as the winner until four years later, when Robert Clemett declared himself the rightful recipient of the prize.

The saga unfolded after a television program in 2001 highlighted unclaimed lottery jackpots, sparking Clemett's memory. He contacted the lottery company, insisting that he had owned the winning ticket but had lost it during a house move. His claim, however, was just one among roughly 50 others from individuals asserting they held the winning ticket.

Determined to claim what he believed was rightfully his, Clemett took the New South Wales Lotteries to court. He maintained that he purchased the winning ticket at the Greenfield Park Newsagency in Sydney. Yet, in 2014, a judge dismissed his claim. Justice Lucy McCallum ruled that Clemett failed to convincingly prove his participation in the draw with the winning numbers. She expressed skepticism about his sudden recollection of the numbers four years after the jackpot was forgotten.

The judge acknowledged Clemett's firm belief in his ownership of the ticket but noted that this conviction seemed to shape his interpretation of events over the years. Despite her empathy, she was not swayed by his evidence and ordered him to cover the legal costs incurred by NSW Lotteries.

Undeterred, Clemett continued his quest. In a passionate Facebook post years later, he implored the court to reevaluate their decision to uphold what he saw as justice.

This story echoes that of Martyn Tott, another man who missed out on a lottery fortune. Tott won a £3 million jackpot but realized too late that he had lost the ticket. Although he proved the purchase, he failed to report the loss within the stipulated 30-day period, thus forfeiting the prize.

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