LONDON, England / The Telegraph / News / October 21, 2010
The winner of the record £113 million EuroMillions lottery jackpot came forward to claim their prize, becoming immediately one of the richest people in Britain.
By Harry Wallop, Martin Evans and Nick Britten
The pensioner from Coventry claims she bought the winning ticket but
her husband threw it out with the rubbish Photo: PA
The payout to the winner, who for now wants to remain anonymous, sparked a nationwide hunt for the person who has enough money to earn £9,000 in interest every day.
Ten days after the numbers were announced, the winner contacted Camelot, the lottery administrators, who immediately sent its head of security to confirm the ticket was genuine. The person was able to prove where and when they bought the ticket quickly enough for Camelot to transfer the money just a few hours later, by the close of business on Wednesday.
The payout has done nothing to quash the rumours that have been circulating on the internet and in local papers as to the identity of any possible winner. Experts said it would be hard for the winner to remain anonymous.
Camelot said it was advising the winner about their options and insisted they would do all they could to support them if they wanted to remain anonymous, pointing out the previous record holders – the winners of a £84 million jackpot in May this year – had never been named.
A spokesman said: "We have a winner adviser, who is experienced in dealing with these life changing moments, helping them. There are immediate, basic things to sort out, such as tax and wills. But we are there to help them enjoy the winnings, whatever they want to do with it."
Mark Borkowski, a public relations expert, urged the winner to remain anonymous if they could. "Of course winning all that money is fantastic, but it can be a curse and you learn some pretty hard lessons very quickly. It's not just the deluge of begging letters you receive if you go public, it's the new best friends, and the pressure," he said.
Rumours began circulating as to who the lucky winner was, just hours after the draw was made.
Attention initially focused on the North East after a Sunderland man, Peter Lowery, posted a message on his Facebook page claiming that he had won. The spotlight was then turned on the Midlands after a pensioner from Coventry claimed to have matched the winning numbers, but had lost the ticket.
But if the winner is from the city, they were still managing to keep a low profile last night. One luxury car dealer in the area said he had not had unlikely new customers eager to splash the cash.
A spokesman for Graypaul Ferrari in Birmingham said: "I certainly haven't had any new customers in today, but I wish them all the best and if they are from this area, they are welcome to pop in and buy up our entire stock."
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