Will You Get Your Lottery Prize If You've Lost The Winning Ticket Or It's Claimed By Another?

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Martyn and Kay Tott lost their ticket and their fortune. PHOTO: Daily Mail

It can happen to anyone. The ticket was in your wallet just yesterday, then got thrown out in in the trash.

This happened to a young British couple who missed out on a £3 million (US$4.1M) lottery fortune after losing their ticket. So they took their case to court.

After hearing a TV appeal about the unclaimed jackpot and recognising the numbers as their own, Martyn and Kay Tott had turned their flat upside down looking for the ticket without success, reported the Daily Mail.

Ten years later they were still fighting for their money.

The couple appeared on GMTV pleading for someone to sponsor their legal battle. Photo:Daily Mail

Camelot, who run the UK National Lottery, had already told the Watford couple it will not honour their £3,011,065 (US$4.1M) win because they missed the same deadline.

They stated this would set a precedent for flouting the rules.

Despite the frustration he felt at the time Martyn says he is genuinely glad he did not receive the £3million. Photo: Daily Mail

Ten years later the decision remained the same, and is a lesson today for everyone when they buy their tickets.

1. Always remember to check your tickets on the draw day or the following day just to be sure.

2. Write your name on any winning tickets, especially if they are larger than the lottery store payout (usually about $1,000 per store).

3. Keep them in a secure place until you can cash them in.

Filling out the ticket is the first step to winning, but don't forget to sign your winning ticket to claim ownership.

As for Martyn, he self-published a fictional account of his ordeal, Six Magic Numbers, in December 2009.

He has since published a second novel, Five Still Missing.

He started on a third and writing a screenplay. "There's not much money in writing," he admits. "But my lottery ordeal gave me the drive to follow my dream."

Today Martyn is a professional business film maker.

READ MORE: Daily Mail