Hereford & Worcester

Worcester 'Lotto Gran' wanted to end her life

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption'Lotto Gran' wanted to die

A woman who became famous by claiming a possible £33m winning lottery ticket was ruined in the wash said the fallout led to her wanting to end her life.

Susanne Hinte from Worcester believed she had the winning numbers but Camelot confirmed somebody else as the winner.

This led to a "life of misery" as Ms Hinte says she was accused of trying to fraudulently claim the money.

In an exclusive interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester, she said media interest led to her going into hiding.

Nicknamed "Lotto Gran" by the tabloids, Ms Hinte said the media was camping outside her home and "twisting things... the more things got twisted, the worse things became".

'Hated'

Her story spread across the globe and led her to appointing an agent, Barry Tomes.

He said her daughter took her phone off her so she could not view things on the internet, and a family member took her out of Worcester for a couple of weeks "hoping things would calm down".

Mr Tomes then moved her to a hotel and said he stopped her communicating with anyone for a few days to "control the media output".

"My phone was taken away from me. I wasn't allowed to contact anyone, I wasn't allowed to have contact with my children," recalls Ms Hinte.

"I wanted to be dead. I couldn't understand why all of a sudden I was hated by so many people. I didn't do anything wrong."

She said the lottery ticket was in her jeans pocket when she washed them. Although she was almost certain it was for a previous draw, doubt began to creep in and she sent the ticket to Camelot.

Image caption The winning numbers were revealed on 9 January

But when the real winner was announced, Ms Hinte was branded a liar.

The winning numbers for the 9 January draw were 26, 27, 46, 47, 52 and 58 and Camelot said later the same month it received a "valid claim" for the jackpot prize based on a ticket bought at a different shop in Worcester.

"It's only Camelot who know where the winning ticket has been bought. So unless I was psychic, I would've had to know where that shop is."

Despite the "pain and heartache", she told BBC News she continues to play the lottery.

"I still want to be in with a chance to win," she said.


Timeline

  • 9 January 2016: The draw was made, with a record top prize of £66m available after 14 weeks without a jackpot winner
  • 10 January: Camelot announces there are two tickets bearing the winning numbers
  • 13 January: Carol and David Martin, a couple from Hawick in the Scottish Borders, announce they are one of the winners and in "total shock"
  • 21 January: With one £33m-winning ticket still unclaimed, Camelot announces it was bought "in the Worcester area"
  • 25 January: Hundreds of people claim to have a lost or damaged winning ticket including one potential claimant who feared she put hers through the wash
  • 28 January: Camelot announces it has tracked down the winning ticket which was not subjected to a review - the winner has remained anonymous

More on this story

Around the BBC