Hull hunts for pounds 1m winner

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The Independent Online
FOR THE second time in three years, the people of Hull are checking their pockets and rummaging in their houses for a Lottery ticket worth more than pounds 1m to the holder. Time is ticking away because the Lottery operator, Camelot, says the city's mystery ticket-holder has just 11 days to claim pounds 1,234,612.

In 1996 the biggest unclaimed jackpot prize, totalling pounds 2,054,754, was handed to five good causes after a ticket- holder from the east Yorkshire port failed to claim the prize within 180 days. An anonymous 89-year-old widow wrote to a local paper then, saying the ticket was hers but she did not want the money.

Camelot's director of public affairs, Louise White, said: "It's incredible that Kingston upon Hull has been home to two jackpot-winning tickets that haven't been claimed. It's a great shame when people miss out on prizes, but the money is used to support worthy projects."

The ticket-holder has until 11pm on Thursday 29 July to claim the jackpot for draw 324, held on 30 January this year. The winning numbers were 7, 19, 32, 37, 40 and 44.

"It could have been a Russian sailor who bought the ticket," said Wayne Maunder, the assistant manager at Rayner's pub, by the city's docks, on Hessle Road. "We get a lot of foreign visitors from the ships. Last week, we had a couple of Russians in the pub wanting to see the city."

John Stephenson, a shop assistant at Turnbull's news-agents in Carr Lane, said dozens of customers had been joking that the ticket was theirs.

At present, pounds 36.8m of Lottery prizes are unclaimed, including pounds 2,017,769 from draw 363, on 16 June, and pounds 2,564,693 from draw 364, on 19 June. Since the Lottery started, pounds 251m in unclaimed prizes have gone to the arts, charities, sports and millennium projects.