How would you feel if you had a winning lottery ticket that was torn in half and thrown in the trash? What if that ticket had almost $75 million in winnings up for grabs?
Well, this is what happened to Fred and Lesley Higgins, of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The couple had guessed all the right numbers that were drawn in a EuroMillions draw. Fred had taken the ticket to the store to be checked and the store assistant had read the numbers wrong, torn the ticket in half and threw it away. Thankfully, the machine that had scanned the ticket alerted the store assistant to ring Camelot - the company that runs the lottery in the UK - as the ticket was a winner.
Thank goodness for technology, right?
The numbers on the torn ticket were - thankfully - completely clear so Fred and Lesley were still in with a chance to scoop a massive £57,975,357, almost $75million. Camelot was called and the numbers checked, double checked and triple checked and - sure enough - Fred had won. “The first matched, the second matched, match, match - we had them all,” Fred told the BBC.
Given the state of the ripped ticket, it got a little complicated and the collection of the winnings was placed on hold while Camelot held their investigation. They needed to view the CCTV footage from the store and interview all parties involved; just in case there was a scam going on. After all, when $75million is up for grabs, it’s not an amount to mess around with! Camelot, as thorough as they could, checked every part of the story while Fred and Lesley kept their damaged ticket in an envelope marked with, “Money Worries Over.”
And indeed they were, as Camelot revealed that they were - of course - genuine winners with a winning lottery ticket to prove it! Could you imagine the nerves? This would never have happened had they chosen to play the lottery online, right?
Fred, who formerly worked with Audi, decided to splurge a little cash on a brand new Audi Cabriolet car. Considering the lack of sunshine in Scotland, the couple then turned their thoughts toward property in France. “We had a really comfortable life before the win, but we did have dreams of living abroad,” said Fred.
As for the ScotMid store, where their lucky ticket was mistakenly thrown away, released a statement noting: “The most important thing is that two people's lives have changed forever and all involved agree this was an honest mistake that was immediately rectified, reported and resolved.”
The moral of the story? Always choose to play the online lottery rather than buying a paper ticket! Human error is human error, but when $75 million is at stake, there’s just no room to make mistakes!