Time is running out — that’s the message from the National Lottery as a £1m EuroMillions ticket purchased in Belfast still goes unclaimed.
There is less than a month remaining for Northern Ireland’s newest millionaire to step forward and claim their prize before missing out on the chance of a lifetime.
If the winner does not come forward before March 31 their chance at the money will be lost forever.
The winning ticket was bought for the UK Millionaire Maker draw on October 2 with winning letters and numbers MZMF67754 and the draw number was 1360.
If the money goes unclaimed it will be returned and go to help the National Lottery’s Good Causes, which includes projects like the Olympic teams, and Covid relief.
Further details on the winning ticket cannot be revealed to protect the anonymity of the winner.
If the lucky person does come forward they can then decide whether or not they wish to go public with their win.
A National Lottery spokesperson told the Belfast Telegraph that their key message was “time is running out” for the winner to claim their £1m.
Every winner had 180 days to claim their prize before losing their chance.
“The deadline to claim this prize is midnight on March 31, with just under a month to go this is a last call for people to check their tickets,” the spokesperson said.
“Even if you don’t think you are the winner just dig out some old tickets and check.”
The spokesperson said unclaimed prizes were “few and far between” across all the different lotteries organised by the National Lottery.
“If you buy a lottery ticket you’re more predisposed than not to check your tickets and claim your prize,” the spokesperson explained.
“The vast majority of prizes are claimed instantly, but every now and again one goes unclaimed.”
The National Lottery spokesperson said there was still a chance the Belfast winner’s prize would be claimed.
“You never know, it’s personal circumstance. The biggest one that I’ve ever seen was six weeks after the draw a £57m prize was claimed. It was a workman and he had the lottery ticket in the visor of his van. He checked it after hearing about it on the radio,” the spokesperson said.
“There was one in London a few years ago, £3.5m that was claimed with about three days left. While there’s still time there’s still hope so I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody does come forward.”
However the spokesperson warned that if the winner comes forward just one day after the expiration date they will be unable to claim their prize.
If the winner does claim their prize they will be following in the footsteps of some of Northern Ireland’s previous big winners.
The region’s biggest ever lottery winners are Co Down couple Frances and Patrick Connolly who won £115m in the EuroMillions lottery in 2019. They have so far given more than half of their winnings away.
The Connollys replaced Strabane woman Margaret Loughrey as Northern Ireland’s biggest ever lottery winner. She won nearly £27m in December 2013.