How Livid Would You Be If Someone Threw Out Your $3.3 Million Lotto Ticket?

Photo: Baloncici (Getty)

The correct answer here is this: “I wouldn’t be livid, I would simply set fire to my entire city.”

An Australian man named David Owen Renshaw has decided to sue NSW Lotteries for the unclaimed $3.3 million prize he says was tossed out by a clerk. According to Renshaw, when he handed over his lotto ticket to a store clerk, he saw the words “provisional winner” lit up, but the clerk still threw his ticket in the bin.

 “I believe my ticket was destroyed by an employee of the Granville [newsagent], Renshaw told a Supreme Court hearing. “I asked him what the words meant — I didn’t know what the words meant until 2015.”


For the September 23, 1997 draw he [Rensaw] purchased a “mixed entry coupon” made up of six games of Systems 7 and of Standard Games all hand marked by him and an Auto Quick Pick entry coupon. He told the court of the moment he realized he was the “true winner of the OzLotto 188 prize.

It was Boxing Day 2015 and he was discussing a big jackpot with a friend, who told him they words “provisional winner” must mean something. They then discovered there was an unclaimed jackpot from the draw and Mr Renshaw “dropped to the ground”.

“I started writing letters to NSW Lotteries straight away,” he said.

Justin Hogan-Doran, who is representing NSW Lotteries, told Justice Michael Walton the case was “doomed to fail” and applied to have it struck out. Mr Hogan-Doran said a search of all the tickets purchased in the time frame given by Mr Renshaw didn’t match the one by Mr Renshaw had described.

“There is no record of the ticket he claims to have purchased,” he said. “He has no record of that ticket, we have no record of that ticket, therefore it cannot be produced. [The case] would be doomed to fail.”

Of course NSW Lotteries are going to do everything in their power to make sure they don’t have to hand out a single dollar to Renshaw. They are even claiming their machines never use the phrase “provisional winner.”

It’s not looking good for Renshaw, but from all accounts he seems to be taking this pretty well. I on the other hand would bring the apocaylpse to everyone if this happened to me.

What would you do? And do you think Renshaw should get the money?

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