The only thing worse than not winning the lottery is not knowing you’ve won until it’s too late. Two ticket-holders in North West England are just weeks away from letting prizes of £1 million and £100,000 slip through their fingers, prompting National Lottery organisers to team up with staff at a popular aquarium to alert locals to the fact the winners may be in their midst.
One of the unclaimed prizes, worth £1 million, was won on a ticket bought in the Cheshire West & Chester area in the Lotto draw held on 23 July this year. A second ticket, worth a cool £100,000, was purchased in WirraI, also in the north-west, for the special Lotto Medal Draw held on 27 August, which celebrated the UK Olympic team’s success in Rio with a wave of cash prizes. Sadly, however, neither prize was claimed, and with UK National Lottery tickets valid for just 180 days after their respective draw dates, the clock is ticking on the plunder.
Partnering with Blue Planet Aquarium on one of its busiest weekends of the year, The National Lottery sent divers into the attraction’s biggest tank along with a pair of giant, eco-friendly replica tickets and cheques in an effort to raise awareness about the search for the region’s missing winners.
Andy Carter, senior winners’ advisor for The National Lottery, encouraged local people to dig through their pockets and purses and to double-check any old lottery tickets they might have lying around. “These are two life-changing sums of money sitting and waiting to be collected by two lucky players who bought their tickets in Cheshire West & Chester and in Wirral,” he told a local newspaper. “We have the champagne and big cheques on standby – all we need is the lucky winners to come forward to claim their prizes.”
The UK’s National Lottery frequently runs special promotional events in which additional prizes are given out to lottery players who match unique raffle numbers printed at the bottom of their tickets. Even when there aren’t Olympic victories to celebrate or new games to launch, there are two guaranteed UK millionaires in every EuroMillions draw, and UK Lotto also gives away one prize of £1 million and 20 prizes of £20,000 in bi-weekly supplementary raffle draws — that is, so long as players remember to check their tickets carefully...