Hundreds claim to have bought £33m lottery ticket - Camelot

image captionThe £33m sum is the biggest prize since the National Lottery was launched in November 1994

Hundreds of people have claimed to be the owner of an unidentified winning National Lottery ticket worth £33m.

Half of the record £66m Lotto jackpot has not been claimed, but organisers Camelot say the winning ticket - with the numbers 26, 27, 46, 47, 52 and 58 - was bought in Worcester.

A woman in Worcester has claimed to have the winning ticket - but said it had been washed in a pair of jeans.

Hundreds more have now reported stolen, damaged or lost tickets, Camelot said.

The lottery operator said it would not comment on unverified claims while it was investigating.

'Exciting - and worrying'

The other half of what was the UK's biggest ever lottery jackpot went to a couple from Hawick, in the Scottish Borders who claimed their prize within days of the draw.

Natu Patel, who runs Ambleside News in Warndon, Worcester, where the woman with the washed ticket made her claim, said the ticket bore the winning numbers, but the date and barcode were illegible. Camelot are currently investigating.

A lot of people had been in touch since, which had been "very exciting, and worrying as well", he said.

image captionMrs and Mr Patel of Ambleside News said a lot of people had been in touch to claim they had the winning ticket

His wife said one woman tried to claim Mrs Patel had sold her the winning ticket - but Mrs Patel was in India at the time.

Another woman rang the shop to claim her son had bought the ticket from their shop, but lost it, she added.

"I said, you tell Camelot, not me!" she said.

Record prize

Commenting on the claims of lost, stolen and damaged tickets, a Camelot spokesman said: "Given the interest in the missing £33m ticket-holder, we have received hundreds of claims of this nature.

"All of these are currently being considered on a case-by-case basis, and we will follow up with all claimants directly to advise them whether their claim will be investigated further."

The spokesman also said details of the shop which sold the winning ticket had not been released, nor had any retailer been informed that they sold the ticket.

image captionThe unnamed woman bought her ticket in Warndon, Worcester
image captionDavid and Carol Martin from Hawick in the Scottish Borders won half of the £66m jackpot

The operator had the discretion to pay prizes in respect of stolen, lost or destroyed tickets only if the player had submitted a claim in writing within 30 days of the relevant draw, a spokesman said.

If the player could provide sufficient evidence, Camelot would investigate and determine "at its discretion whether the claim is valid, and is able to pay the prize 180 days after the draw".

Even though the prize total is shared, the sum is still the biggest win since the National Lottery was launched in November 1994.

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