“I’m not a lunatic. I’m fighting to be listened to.”
By Kate Northrop
An Australian woman is suing The Lott for $2 million (US$1.55 million) after she supposedly lost a winning lottery ticket for a drawing that took place seven years ago, proving just why it is so important that players hang onto and keep track of their physical tickets.
Kathy Jasmine Rado, 59, of Cairns is pulling out all the stops to try and get The Lott to pay out the $2 million prize that she is claiming she won. She is absolutely positive that the six numbers she chose on her lost ticket matched the numbers drawn on Jan., 22, 2014 for the Monday & Wednesday Lotto game, which were 3, 11, 22, 26, 42, and 44.
Following the drawing in 2014, Tabcorp, the operator of The Lott, announced that a winning ticket for the prize was sold at a DFO NewsExtra store in Cairns, the store where Rado purchased her ticket. However, The Lott rejected her claim when she called one week later to inform them that she won.
The Lott remained steadfast — no ticket, no prize. The Australian Government’s Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation even took notice of the woman’s plight but were unable to confirm her claim in the end.
She insists that her numbers matched in the drawing that night since she always chooses numbers based on specific family birthdays and her parents’ wedding anniversary.
“I am not a lunatic. I’m fighting to be listened to,” she told The Courier-Mail.
The Lott did attempt to help Rado prove that she bought the winning ticket in question and gave the mother and her two sons three tries each to guess the time and date the ticket was purchased, as well as the type of ticket, but none of them could recall the information.
“This company [The Lott] ha[s] gone out of their way to give me a hard time,” she said in court documents.
She was, however, able to get the store’s confirmation that she had visited on Jan., 22, 2014, but she was not able to obtain security video footage from management that could have possibly shown her purchasing a ticket in the store at a specific time.
At the time of purchase, she also said that she chose to pay with cash over using a “players card,” citing discomfort with giving away personal information online. Had she associated her purchase with a Lottery membership, The Lott would have been able to contact her directly to notify her of the win.
Rado, who admitted to being a “hoarder,” has made every effort to track down the lost ticket and prove to The Lott that she won, going so far as to hire a psychic to help her locate it. She has also left notes on cars in the parking lot in front of the DFO NewsExtra store to encourage other customers who might have seen her buy the ticket to come forward and provide eyewitness proof.
According to court documents, Rado also scoured her home and used a special light to make out fading numbers on old lottery tickets.
Taking The Lott to court is likely the player’s last ditch effort to claim the $2 million prize. She is hoping for one of two outcomes – the first is that she manages to locate the winning ticket within the ten-year timeframe that players have to claim her prize. The other scenario she’s expecting is that the court case will leave The Lott no choice but to divulge the specifics of the winning ticket so she can “match” them to her own memory.
The next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 3. Should she successfully take home the coveted prize after all these years, she plans on using it to help friends and family and donating to charity.
To this day, Rado continues to play the lottery using the same numbers. Regardless of whether she actually had the winning ticket in her possession, one thing is absolutely clear — hang onto your tickets!