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

The woman who didn’t check her win for three weeks - and the man who waited two years

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

Biggest UK lottery winners