First Key Deadline Has Passed
The winning EuroMillions numbers for Tuesday 3rd December 2019 were 18, 31, 32, 38 and 48, plus Lucky Stars 4 and 12. Following rollovers in the three previous draws, there was only one ticket from across Europe that matched all the numbers to pocket the whole of the jackpot.
It was immediately revealed that the winning ticket had been sold in the UK, and the National Lottery narrowed down the location to Dorset two weeks later after not hearing anything from the winner.
It was hoped that this announcement would jog the memory of players in the area and that the winner would stake their claim. Alternatively, anyone who thought they might have won but had lost their ticket was encouraged to submit an appeal within 30 days of the draw.
The deadline for lodging an appeal passed in early January, so the only way that the jackpot can be paid out before the end of May now is if someone steps forward with the winning ticket.
While it is not uncommon for big winners to wait a few weeks to make contact with the National Lottery, it is rare for it to go on this long. The fear now is that the winner may have discarded their ticket without realising their good fortune and will not be able to claim the prize in time.
What Will Happen Next?
If the lucky ticket holder does get in touch with the National Lottery before the final date to claim on 31st May, the normal claims procedure will be followed. This involves a verification meeting with a number of security checks before the payment can be finalised. The winner can then decide whether they wish to go public or stay anonymous.
If the National Lottery does not hear from the winner by the end of May, further investigations may be carried out into any of the appeals that were lodged during the initial 30-day window. Any claimant who lost their ticket must have provided proof that they bought the winning entry, such as details about the exact location, time and date when it was purchased that match up to the official records.
If there are no claims that can be verified, the entire £40,957,696.60 - plus the interest it has accrued while being held in a trust - will be given to the National Lottery’s Good Causes Fund. This Good Causes Fund also receives £0.28 from every £1 spent on EuroMillions tickets in the UK, benefiting projects in different categories such as sports, arts, heritage, and health, education, environment and charitable causes.
The Biggest Unclaimed Prizes
Millions of prizes remain unclaimed every year, but this £40 million jackpot would be one of the largest in history to go begging. The biggest ever came back in 2012, when a jackpot worth over £63 million was never claimed.
It was revealed in 2012 that the winner came from the Stevenage and Hitchin area, and there were calls from local MP Stephen McPartland for National Lottery operator Camelot to go further and announce which shop had sold the ticket. He also thought more could be done to trace the winner by tracking their credit or debit cards.
Camelot insisted that it had to stick to the strict conditions of its government-granted licence - and that revealing the shop would compromise the winner’s identity. The operator also argued that releasing CCTV footage would break the terms of the licence.
For the latest big win in Dorset, the main focus will continue to be publicising the news in the area, in the hope that the winner stakes their claim before it is too late. Draws will continue every Tuesday and Friday, and you can take part online to ensure there is no chance of missing out on your prize.