The £1m lottery prizes about to be lost forever

Lottery win
Lottery win

Have you won £1 million and forgotten all about it? It doesn't seem possible, but somehow 13 people in the UK are going about their everyday lives, not suspecting for a second that there's £1 million sitting at the National Lottery waiting for them to claim it. One of those unsuspecting people is about to lose the cash forever.

See also: The lottery winners who beat the odds - twice

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The £1 million winner in question won the cash back on 17th January this year. It was the UK Millionaire Maker prize in the EuroMillions draw. Any winner only has 180 days in which to make a claim - at which point it is given away to good causes. It means that the last date they will be able to make a claim is 16th July. The winner bought their ticket in the North Kesteven district, but sill hasn't come forward.

Big losers

It's not the only big prize set to expire this month. There's a prize of over £61,000 which was won on 24th January, and has yet to be claimed. That was another EuroMillions winner, who bought their ticket in the London Borough of Southwark, and matched five balls and one star (1, 5, 7, 17, 23 and lucky stars 3 and 8).

There's also another EuroMillions millionaire who won on the UK Millionaire maker on 21st January. That winner, from Barnsley, has until 30th July to claim their million - which comes complete with a luxury fortnight trip to Thailand, Bali or the Maldives - flying business class and staying in a five star hotel.

There are then two prizes of £1 million expiring in August, two in September, one in October, four in November and one in December.

How can this happen?

It's hard to imagine being able to afford to overlook a £1 million win, but clearly it's easier than it seems. In many cases people miss the win because it's not the main draw. They check the main winning numbers, but forget to check the raffle.

In other cases, the ticket is accidentally binned, or left in a pocket or bag somewhere. Given that the prizes that are about to expire were won in the depths of winter, there's a risk the winning tickets are in winter coats hanging at the back of wardrobes, so it might be worth going through the pockets just in case. It's also worth checking any piles of paperwork or receipts - or down the back of the sofa - for any neglected tickets, and visiting the National Lottery website to see if any of the unclaimed prizes ring a bell.

Sadly, there's every chance that some of these winners will never come forward. It happened just last month, when an unclaimed £1 million went to good causes. And it has happened with some jaw-dropping sums. The most dramatic was back in 2012, when a EuroMillions winner failed to claim their £64 million prize.