Winning lottery ticket found!

It's like something out of a Hollywood movie! Lotto player buys winning lottery ticket to the tune of millions, lottery player completely forgets about lottery ticket, National Lottery goes in nationwide search of winner, lottery player finally shows up in the nick of time to claim their winnings. Cue celebration, massive riches, credits, lights, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Sound too good to be true? Well, that's exactly the plot that's been playing out since a winning lottery ticket was bought for the National Lottery draw on 29 November, and the massive prize of £1 796 081 went unclaimed. If it sounds unbelievable, that's because it is. We know that if we won the lottery, we'd be down the Lotto offices a nanosecond after our winning numbers were drawn, banging on the door, demanding our winnings (we're all about the class). How someone could buy a lottery ticket, win over a million pounds and not show up to claim their prize is beyond us.

But that's exactly what happened, and ever since the lottery ticket, bought in the Newry and Mourne District of Northern Ireland, was found to be a winner, the Irish National Lottery has been on the hunt for the lucky player.

And finally, their hard work (and perhaps a lot of nudging from local media and interested neighbours) has paid off. The missing lottery ticket has been found, the jackpot has been claimed, and all's right with the world. And not a moment too soon either - because if lottery winnings aren't claimed within 180 days of being won, the proceeds are distributed among lottery-funded causes instead. Of course giving money to charity is always a worthy cause, but hearing of someone missing out on over a million pounds because they lost their lottery ticket down the back of a chair is just too heartbreaking to contemplate.

That's why we were overjoyed to hear that the lucky lottery player had at long last turned up with their winning ticket, just in time to claim their prize for a fabulous Christmas! The National Lottery in Ireland was just as excited that the winner had finally been found: “We’re delighted that the winner of this amazing prize has now come forward, especially just before Christmas," they said in a statement, "and we hope that they will enjoy their win. It would have been awful if the ticket-holder had missed out on this substantial and life-changing amount of money. We would like to remind all National Lottery players to check their tickets every time they play.”

With two giant jackpots coming up over the weekend, that's a statement we'd like to reiterate. If you buy a lottery ticket online with, keep an eye on it! Watch out for your confirmation email, save it in a safe space, and make sure to check the winning numbers after your draw to see if you're a winner. There's £4.1 million up for grabs in the National Lottery draw on Saturday, and £11 million to be won in the EuroMillions draw on Friday - so buy your lottery ticket online from and watch closely to see if you're a winner!

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