How did this woman overlook a lottery win for three weeks?

Jacqui Shannon

Jacqui Shannon, a 46-year-old charity manager from Withal in Essex, won £1 million on the National Lottery, but failed to spot it for three weeks - despite the fact that the Lottery had sent her an email telling her she'd won a prize.

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Jacqui won one of the UK Millionaire Maker prizes in the EuroMillions draw. The Lottery sent her an email telling her about the win, but because she knew she hadn't won big in the main draw, she assumed it was only a small prize, so she didn't even bother opening the email.

Life continued as usual - with Jacqui stressing out about where she could find the cash to get her car MOTed.

Then, weeks down the line, while she was in the office before work, she decided to clear out her old emails, and she finally opened the one from the Lottery. It was only then she realised she was a millionaire.

She told the press: "I calmly said to my colleague, "sorry, could you hold that thought" and ran out of the room into the corridor to ring Camelot." After verifying the win, and telling her husband, she says: "I have to admit I went a little crazy in the corridor - leaping about and squealing - and then went back to my desk as calmly as possible, deciding I didn't want to tell anyone until the money really was in my bank account."

She says she will spend some of her windfall on a luxury trip to visit her sister in Dubai, a Mini for herself and a BMW 320 for her husband. She added: "Never did I dream this would happen but now it has, I fully intend to live the dream."

Leaving it late

She's not the first lottery winner to spent weeks walking around unaware of a win. Back in 2012, Alan and Kim Elliott from Aspley in Nottingham, picked up a £1 million EuroMillions win, after a delay of 2 months. They admitted they had stuck the ticket to the fridge and hadn't got round to checking it.

Even more impressively, in October 2014, James Wilson claimed his £52,000 EuroMillions win the day before it expired. He'd found an old ticket lurking in his wallet and thought he'd better check it.

There's also a small but interesting group of people who knew about their win, but chose to wait before picking the cash up.

Lisa and Gerry Cannings realised they'd won £32.5 million on the lottery on Valentines Day this year - the day after the draw. However, they were due to have a decorator in, and didn't want to change their plans, so they waited a week for him to finish before picking up their giant cheque.

In 2013 couple from the Isle of Wight were on holiday in Scotland when they discovered they had won £115,000. They decided to finish the trip before collecting the money.

But perhaps the biggest delay was at the end of last year, when a 67-year-old collected £25 million from the Canadian Lottery headquarters - after a wait of almost two years. He had spent the intervening months trying to find a legal loophole that would let him pick up the money without going public - but in the end he had to face the cameras.

Biggest UK lottery winners
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Biggest UK lottery winners

Colin and Chris Weir, from Largs in Ayrshire scooped 161 million in the EuroMillions draw after several rollovers in 2011. They are the biggest British lottery winners in history.

Adrian Bayford, who won an astonishing £148m on the Euromillions with his wife Gillian, had to shut up the music shop he owns, because people targeted it with requests for money.
One British ticket won  £113,019,926 in October 2010 but decided not to go public.
Car mechanic and racing driver Neil Trotter scooped a staggering £107.9 million jackpot on the Euromillions lottery in March 2014.
Dave and Angela Dawes won £101 million on the EuroMillions in 2011. It was only the third time the couple, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, had played the lottery. The couple are said to have since split up.
The sum was won in May 2010 but the winner kept their identity a secret.
One lucky British ticket-holder picked up a £81million EuroMillions rollover but remained anonymous.

Nigel Page and Justine Laycock from Cirencester bagged a £56 million jackpot back in February 2011. On winning the jackpot, Page said: 'I'd already checked my National Lottery account and had seen I'd won £55 on Lotto when I decided to buy two Lucky Dips for the big EuroMillions jackpot on Friday.'

One lucky winner won shy of 50 million but chose to remain anonymous.

Les and Sam Scadding from Newport, South Wales, and a syndicate of seven Liverpudlian call-centre workers shared a staggering £91 million in November 2009. Les, an unemployed mechanic, was £68 overdrawn on the day he bought his ticket, while the Liverpool syndicate only started playing EuroMillions together four months before their win.

Carrington, 22, from Stapleford in Nottingham, banked £45 million after matching all five numbers and two Lucky Stars in a EuroMillions draw in February 2012. The Iceland supervisor said she planned to marry painter fiancee Matt Topham, 22, following the Lucky Dip win.

Husband and wife Gareth and Catherine Bull have fairly modest spending plans despite their £40.6 million jackpot win in January. Speaking about what she planned to do now that she was rich, Catherine explained that she intended to use part of their winnings to replace the carpet on her upstairs landing...

Angela Kelly became one of the biggest lottery winners in UK history back in 2007, after scooping a £35 million EuroMillions jackpot. This is estimated to earn £5,000 a day in interest alone, meaning she's unlikely to ever be short of cash.

In June 2009, 74-year-old Brian Caswell got the surprise of his life when he took his lottery ticket to his local newsagent and discovered he'd won almost £25 million.

Belfast housewife Iris Jeffrey, 58, was the lucky holder of the record 20.1 million rollover lottery winning ticket back in 2004.

Jeffrey, 58, a cancer sufferer, only realised three weeks after the draw took place that she had won the  jackpot after organisers Camelot pleaded for the person holding the prize ticket to come forward and claim the prize.

Stephen Smith and his wife Ida from Hemel Hempstead, Herts, won nearly 19 million in the National Lottery. Mr Smith said he would give up his winnings if he could have his health and the chance to live a longer life with his wife.

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