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The Lost Ticket

The Lost Ticket
Updated: Monday 20th July 2015

A lottery ticket worth £700,000 was lost for two hours, and the owner didn’t even realise it! In fact drama teacher Siobhan O’Brien from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland didn’t know that the ticket in her purse was a winning one for two weeks after the draw had taken place on Wednesday 9 January. The £2.5 million jackpot for that game had been won by four tickets, and hers was one of them, making it worth £649,657.

At one point Siobhan had left the ticket in her “lucky red purse” on the counter at a petrol station, and she didn’t retrieve it for two hours. If anyone had found the lost ticket then they would have been able to claim the prize it had won. This is because lottery tickets are bearer instruments, meaning that the person who possesses it is deemed to be the rightful owner, regardless of whether or not they actually purchased it themselves.

“I shudder to think what could well have happened to my purse,” Siobhan said after she had discovered her win and made her claim. “I was here, there and everywhere with it in my handbag and apart from the petrol station I had a few other narrow escapes. I kept mislaying my handbag when I took a group to a feis in Dundalk where there were 2,000 competitors in three different rooms - and all the time the ticket was there.

Siobhan has been a regular lottery player for years. “I buy two tickets for each of the two weekly Lotto draws,” she explained. “Two tickets play my regular numbers and two are ‘Lucky Dips’. A ‘Lucky Dip’ ticket did the trick - had it been my regular numbers I would have known immediately that I’d won.”

Now that the drama teacher has lived through a drama of her own, Siobhan is looking forward to enjoying her prize. “We are delighted with my windfall,” she said. “It’s just a perfect amount to win - it should allow us to have no financial worries while still keeping our feet firmly on the ground.”

Published: Tuesday 29th January 2008

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