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Australian man sues state lottery for discarded $3.3M ticket

March 6 (UPI) — An Australian man is suing New South Wales Lotteries, saying a store clerk threw away his $3.3 million winning ticket more than a decade ago.

David Owen Renshaw said he entered an OzLotto draw in September 1997 by buying a ticket from Greenfield Park and when he returned a week later to have it processed the lotto terminal displayed the words “provisional winner.”

Renshaw said the attendant then informed him his ticket wasn’t winner and threw it away.

“I believe my ticket was destroyed by an employee of the Granville [newsagent]. I asked him what the words meant — I didn’t know what the words meant until 2015,” he said.

He argued the employee didn’t speak English well and was unable to properly communicate whether he’d presented a winning ticket or not.

“I don’t mean to be rude to the man, but he shouldn’t have been using that machine,” he said.

Renshaw said he was discussing a large jackpot with a friend who suggested “provisional winner” must have meant something on Boxing Day 2015, when they discovered an unclaimed jackpot from the 1997 draw.

“I started writing letters to NSW Lotteries straight away,” he said.

NSW Lotteries lawyer Justin Hogan-Doran has denied its machines use the phrase “provisional winner” and stated if the phrase was used it would indicate the amount won was more than $1,000, not necessarily a jackpot.

Hogan-Doran also called for the case to be struck down because the information Renshaw provided didn’t match any winning ticket on record.

“He has no record of that ticket, we have no record of that ticket, therefore it cannot be produced. It would be doomed to fail,” he said.

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