HOW gutted would you feel if you discovered a winning £1million lottery ticket - that had expired?
It’s a cruel fate which someone here in Gloucester could yet go through.
National Lottery administrators have looked high and low for the holder of a winning seven-figure ticket bought last summer.
It would have scooped the owner exactly £1million in the EuroMillions Raffle on July 26.
But 180 days have passed and no-one has made contact, meaning the cash goes to National Lottery Good Causes, which supports various charities and community organisations.
A National Lottery spokesman said: “Unfortunately, I can confirm that the ticket holder did not come forward within the deadline to claim their prize and has now sadly missed out on this substantial amount of money.
“To avoid this unfortunate situation happening again, I would urge all National Lottery players to check their tickets on a regular basis.
“We tried very hard to find the ticket-holder and it’s a real shame that they have missed out, but there is still one winner – the nation. This money, and all the interest earned over the 180 days, will now go to benefit projects all over the UK funded by The National Lottery.”
The unclaimed prize, which the spokesman could only say was bought somewhere in Gloucester, will be added to the £31billion already raised by National Lottery players since 1994 to help more than 420,000 projects across the arts, sports, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
With all National Lottery draws, players have 180 days from the day of the draw to claim their prize if they have the winning ticket.
Had the winner come forward, they would have been in good company in what proved a rich month last July.
Emma Wildon, from Cinderford, won £1million on a lottery scratchcard and Bream great-grandmother Jennifer Hancocks scooped the same amount a few days earlier, matching the raffle numbers on her ticket.
It was also revealed in 2012 that a mystery lottery winner, who took home a “substantial” sum and could afford to buy “several” homes, is living in a Stourd council house.
Gloucestershire’s biggest ever lottery winners were from Cirencester. They were Nigel Page and Justine Laycock who won £56million on the Euromillions in 2010 and gave their old house to their cleaner.
National Lottery bosses even sent a hunky butler to Gloucester Rail Station in a bid to jog the would-be winner’s memory but the search proved fruitless.