Potential £33m lottery winner faces agonising wait


Susanne Hinte, who damaged ticket in washing machine, must wait for all winning claims to be investigated

A Worcestershire woman who believes she has won £33m in the National Lotteryfaces an agonising wait after apparently putting the winning ticket through a washing machine in the pocket of her jeans.

Relatives of Susanne Hinte, from Warndon, Worcester, have said the winning numbers were “visible but faded” and she had contacted the Lotto operator, Camelot, to claim the prize.

Camelot refused to comment on Hinte’s case on Monday but said players with damaged tickets had to wait until a 180-day deadline for all claims to come in before it investigated.

Two tickets held the winning numbers (26, 27, 46, 47, 52, 58) for the largest ever jackpot of £66m. A Scottish couple, David and Carol Martin, from Hawick in the Scottish Borders, claimed half of the prize.

‘We were in stunned silence’: David and Carol Martin describe their reactions to winning more than £33m in the National Lottery

Last week, with the second half of the jackpot unclaimed, Camelot gave the public a clue: the second ticket had been bought in the city of Worcester. Though the lottery operator did not say so, a shop called Ambleside News was widely identified as the shop that sold the winning ticket.

At the weekend, Hinte’s daughter, Natasha Douglas, said her mother had the winning ticket.

“The ticket has been through the wash, the numbers are visible but faded,” Douglas said. “She wanted to stay anonymous but obviously her name has got out through people talking on Facebook. When she found out she had the winning numbers she couldn’t breathe and she hasn’t slept since.

“My mum had my children overnight before the draw and forgot to check her ticket because she was distracted. I turned round to my mum after I heard there was a winning ticket bought in Worcester and said: ‘I don’t suppose you’ve got the winning ticket?’

“So she searched the house and I got a phone call from her saying she’d got the winning numbers. We sent it off to Camelot. They give you 30 days to submit a damaged ticket from the date of the draw.

“She’s already had begging letters from people asking for money. She works and has worked all her life. She has two children and four grandchildren. If she has won she wants to set her family up for life and she plans to give some money to charity. She’s never won anything before.”

However, Hinte’s claim was not the only one being investigated. Camelot said that whenever it revealed where an unclaimed winning ticket had been sold it received hundreds of queries from people hoping they had won.

Lotto players in Worcestershire appear to be struggling to claim their prizes at the moment. The day after revealing the £33m ticket had been bought in Worcester Camelot revealed that a £63,000 win from July on a ticket bought in nearby Redditch had not been claimed within the 180-day deadline and would go to good causes.

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