Hereford & Worcester

£33m ticket 'washed in jeans', says potential jackpot winner in Worcester

Media captionNatu Patel secured the ticket on some card and put it in a bag

A woman has come forward to claim the £33m National Lottery jackpot - but said the ticket had been washed in a pair of jeans.

The unnamed woman went to a newsagent in Worcester with the ticket bearing the winning numbers, but the date and barcode are illegible, Natu Patel, who runs Ambleside News in Warndon said.

Camelot confirmed on Friday the winning ticket was bought in Worcester.

It has urged the woman to get in touch and send it in within 30 days.

The National Lottery operator said: "If anybody believes they have bought the ticket and think they may have lost it, or washed it in their jeans, or it's been stolen, they need to make a claim within 30 days."

The prize money is half the record Lotto jackpot win - shared with a couple from Hawick who claimed their prize within days of the 9 January draw.

Image caption The £33m sum is the biggest prize since the National Lottery was launched in November 1994
Image caption The unnamed woman bought her ticket in Warndon, Worcester

Newsagent Mr Patel said the woman was convinced hers was the winning ticket and was "rather nervous and frightened".

"She said to me it had been through the wash," he told BBC News.

"It was in a washed condition and so, of course, in a slightly poor state.

"But I think if Camelot have the ability to be able to break it down and check it, they'll do what they have to do."

Mr Patel said the only visible date was 2016 and the serial number and barcode had faded.

"We secured it on card and put it in a bag and I asked her to send it to Camelot as they requested," he added.

'Discretion to pay'

Camelot said on Friday it would not reveal the exact location where the ticket was purchased, but hoped that by naming the area it could increase local interest and help find the winner.

Image caption David and Carol Martin from Hawick in south Scotland took the other half of the £66m jackpot

The operator has the discretion to pay prizes in respect of stolen, lost or destroyed tickets only if the player has submitted a claim in writing within 30 days of the relevant draw, a spokesman said.

If the player can provide sufficient evidence, Camelot will investigate and determine "at its discretion whether the claim is valid and is able to pay the prize 180 days after the draw."

The ticket had the winning numbers 26, 27, 46, 47, 52 and 58.

Even though the prize total was shared, the sum is still the biggest win since the National Lottery was launched in November 1994.

Mr Patel said he hoped he had sold the winning ticket.

"It would be win-win in all ways, because it would be very, very good for her and very good for us and for the city of Worcester.

"It would put Worcester on the map once again - instead of the floods."

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The woman says she has the winning numbers but other crucial details have been obscured

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