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Biggest Cash Wins and Losses

  • 17 Aug 09
  • Written by Tom Thorns

We all dream of that day when our six numbers in the lottery come up or we get a full house at the bingo hall, but that dream doesn’t often turn into a reality for most of us.

In fact we secretly envy every person splashed across each national newspaper and TV screen holding a cheque with many zeros at the end and wearing the biggest smile on their face.

We desperately wish it was us holding the cheque and contemplate running off with a rich person just to see what it feels like to live the life of luxury for a day or two.

Then there are the (dumb) people who throw their winning lottery ticket in the bin or spend £6 million in two weeks leaving them with nothing other than the dream of having more money in their bank.

Well we thought we would rub it in a little more and find some of the top cash winners and losers the world has seen. Some of the stories will crack a little smile, others may make your stomach turn or your eyes turn green with jealousy, but no doubt after reading you will be booking your place at the next bingo hall or visiting an online bingo site to try your luck like these winners and losers did!

£1.1 million win for mum-of-two

Christine Bradfield

A South Wales mum-of-two walked away with a massive £1.1 million in January 2008.

Christine Bradfield, 53, from Bargoed, was playing at her local club in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales when she won the large sum of money.

“It was just like a football match when somebody scores a goal. The place erupted,” said Steve Hanley-Locke, deputy manager at the Castle Leisure bingo hall, where the win occurred.

Mrs Bradfield works in a local garage part time and was completely in shock after her big win. She phoned her husband, Ray who is a crane driver from the club to tell him the good news.

Mrs Bradfield said, “I work three days a week in a garage and luckily I don’t have to be in until Wednesday, but I’ll be there then,” she said.

“I won’t be giving up work; I couldn’t be at home or I’d be out shopping all the time.” She added, “I just love the game. I have been playing since I was old enough at 18 and I won’t stop now.”

Mrs Bradfield split the money with her bingo partner, best friend and sister-in-law Lorraine.

“We always share everything whether it is £10 or £1,000,000. I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else. Lorraine is family and best friend as well. We will enjoy money twice as much if we share it all round-we will go on a cruise together.”

£1.2 million win for cleaner

Soraya Lowell

A 38-year-old cleaner from Hamilton in Lanarkshire won the National Bingo Game in March 2008 and decided to give half of her winnings to her neighbour and bingo companion Agnes O’Neill.

The mother-of-four, Soraya Lowell won a massive £1,167,795 and gave 68-year-old Mrs O’Neill, who was with her when she hit the jackpot, half of her winnings.

Mrs Lowell said, “We always share whatever either of us wins and this time has been will be no different.”

Mrs Lowell said, “I have had a rough time the last three years-I have been very ill and Soraya cared for me which meant my husband did not have to retire early.

“She has been wonderful to me. What she has done for me is absolutely something else.”

The win beat Christine Bradfield (above) making it the biggest win in the bingo world.

The bingo winner was playing at Club 3000 bingo hall in the town of Coatbridge when she called house on her last number, 90.

Despite her win, Mrs Lowell had also vowed to return to work.

She said, “It just won’t sink in yet. I haven’t slept at all, but I will be back at work as usual. I clean offices until 1.30am and I don’t intend to give up my job.”

This year Mrs Lowell decided to move to a bigger home just a mile down the road despite saying she would never leave council house home.

And the losers…

Lost lottery ticket for £3m

Martyn & Kay Tott

Martyn and Kay Tott from St Alban’s failed to meet the 30-day cut-off for claiming on lost tickets and never received the money they had won on the National Lottery.

Despite the rules laid down by Camelot, the Tott’s thought they deserved their money.

“They know we are the winners, we know we are the winners and they should pay up,” Mr Toot, 33 told the Sunday Mirror.

Their total misfortune was £3,011,065the largest unclaimed amount of money since the National Lottery begain in 1994.

A spokesperson for Camelot said at the time,

“The rules stand. The game and the National Lottery must abide by the rules.”

The couple later divorced in 2002 as the Kay Tott said that her husband became obsessed with money.

The ticket numbers 6, 7, 11, 23, 32 and 44 were the regular ones used by the couple. Gutted!

Lost Lottery Ticket…So someone else claims the prize

Dorothy McDonagh

Dorothy McDonagh was celebrating her £30,000 National Lottery win without knowing that someone else had claimed her winnings.

The pensioner from Swindon didn’t receive any of the money because Camelot refused to pay out a second time.

Ms McDonagh was delighted when she had matched all seven numbers on the Daily Play game but soon realised she had lost her winning ticket.

She had lost her ticket after buying it at her local Co-op store and it was found by 34-year-old Amanda Stacey.

Mrs Stacey believed the ticket would be the answer to all her money problems and her and her husband cashed the cheque at the Post Office and quickly spent £15,000 in a single month clearing debts and treating their children.

The National Lottery called the police and the couple who cashed the ticket were handed a two year suspended sentence after admitting theft and fraud.

The court recently ruled in July 2009 that the couple would pay £15,111 to Ms McDonagh with the £111 being interest on top of money.

These problems are why many people opt to play the National Lottery as well as other big cash winning games like Bingo, online.

All details are kept safe and there is no way of people accessing your account or winning ticket as it is all logged onto a system and the money deposited straight to your account.

So as much as we get some of the fairy tale endings we also get some of the sad sob stories about people and their big winnings which makes you feel rather content with what you have got for a little while… until you start dreaming about that brand new car, that 20-bedroom house, or that luxury holiday…

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