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Man lost £3 million winning lottery ticket and wasn't allowed to claim it

Man lost £3 million winning lottery ticket and wasn't allowed to claim it

He ended up joining a cult.

We've all fantasised about the moment we win the lottery, but for obvious reasons, that fantasy never involves being unable to collect the money.

But this is exactly what happened to Martyn Tott, then 25, from Watford, who lost out on a staggering £3 million because of a technicality.

Despite purchasing the lottery ticket way back in 2001, Martyn and his wife Kay were totally oblivious to the fact that they'd won the life-changing sum until six months later.

The couple had no idea Martyn had won until months later.

But by this point, Martyn had lost the original ticket - although he did have proof of purchase from his local Londis.

The couple then had to spend 45 days on tenterhooks as they waited to find out if his £3,011,065 win was even valid.

Unfortunately for the pair, the lottery organiser Camelot decided not to pay out based on a technicality - Martyn hadn't registered the loss of his winning ticket within 30 days.

Needless to say, this had a devastating effect on the couple, who had unsurprisingly spent over a month imagining all the ways they were going to spend their new riches.

He told the Mail on Sunday: "Having that money taken away was torture. For a long time, I lost sight of who I was and what I believed in."

Maryn was devastated that a technicality robbed him of millions.
Alamy / PA Images

To put Martyn's devastation into context, he had already made plans to quit his job (as a lot of us would do), buy a mansion (also relatable) and then travel the world.

While he did try and contact a number of lawyers in a bid to appeal Camelot's decision, they told him that there was nothing he could do.

The case was so high profile at the time that a number of big-names lent their support to the then-25-year-old including Tony Blair, who was Prime Minister at the time.

His wife, Cherie Booth QC, offered her legal opinion, and just like the no-win-no-fee lawyers Martyn had consulted, she said the case was not worth pursuing in court.

The whole situation then took such a strain on Martyn and Kay's marriage that they ended up separating, and he joined a Christian cult in the US.

While Kay was happy to accept the loss, Martyn became obsessed with finding justice.

Following the split, the couple, who had previously lived on a joint income of £34,000 a year, moved out of their Hertfordshire home and Martyn went through with his plan to quit his job.

Martyn joined a Christian cult after losing out on his dream life.
Alamy / PA Images

He then decided to write a book about his experience and while doing so, he came into contact with an American woman who invited him to live with her in Nashville, Tennessee.

It was there that he met a 'self-appointed Apostle' and joined a Christian cult that he ultimately had to leave because he couldn't get permanent US citizenship.

All members of the cult were required to give its anonymous leader 10 percent of their earnings.

Marytn went on to return to the UK, alone, and he eventually published his book Six Magic Numbers in 2009 - a fictionalised account of his own lottery nightmare.

The lottery winner (so to speak) now works as a writer and a self-taught filmmaker, according to his company website.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock/PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: National Lottery