Updated on January 16, 2023 by Ray Olsen
Many people that buy lottery tickets don’t seriously believe they’re going to be winners. It was the same with Kay and Martyn Tott. After finding out that they won the National Lottery jackpot the couple was excited. There was simply one problem – Kay and Martyn couldn’t find their lottery ticket.
The media dubbed them the most unlucky couple in Britain. Most lottery players hold onto their tickets and ensure they don’t have the winning numbers before throwing them away. But The couple didn’t realize they would become winners in 2001. Here’s the story of how Kay and Martyn Tott tried to claim their winnings.
Kay and Martyn Tott met at a dance class and got married in 2000. They lived in a two-bedroom semi in Watford before they found out they were jackpot winners. Martyn worked as a purchasing manager and Kay was a receptionist. The couple spent most of their time eating Chinese takeouts and going to their local pub to dance and drink beer.
The lottery ticket that Kay and Martyn Tott lost was worth a whopping £3million. What’s more, the National Lottery pays jackpots out in a lump sum and the money is tax-free. So the full £3million could’ve been theirs if they had not lost their ticket. Camelot Group operates the National Lottery in Britain and has strict rules when claiming prizes.
Kay and Martyn Tott would play the exact same lottery numbers every week which is a lottery strategy that many players use. The numbers they chose were also significant. The Guardian wrote about the numbers the couple chose. 6 and 7 were for Kay and Martyn’s birthdays. 11 was for the day the couple got engaged. 23 and 32 for Kay and Martyn’s ages when the couple met. And lastly, 44 for Martyn’s grandmother’s door number.
While Kay and Martyn were watching TV there was an appeal for the winners to come forward as it was a mere four hours before the 180 day grace period was up. They had been winners for six months and they didn’t realize it. The couple knew that the numbers displayed on the screen were theirs because they played the same ones every week.
But joy quickly turned to panic because the couple simply couldn’t find their lottery ticket. They searched high and low in their house and at one point Martyn thought he had found the ticket. But it wasn’t for the draw they’d won.
Kay and Martyn now had to go through the impossible task of proving that they were the winners. On the night of the broadcast, there were over 115 people who called in. But Martyn knew every detail of the lottery ticket he bought.
The ticket was purchased at a small newsagent in St Albans High Street. But the rules were absolute. Camelot requires a 30-day claim for lost lottery tickets and the Totts were way past the due date. Martyn fought with Camelot and it even prompted him to launch three legal battles. But Camelot was not budging. The couple had lost their £3million.
In a Daily Mail article, Martyn was planning a trip around the world with his wife. He also wanted to purchase an Audi TT car and live in a luxurious home with Kay. Martyn and Kay also wanted to ditch their day jobs. All of these luxuries and more could have been theirs if they had checked their numbers during or after the draw.
The battle to try and get the £3million out of the National Lottery cost Kay and Martyn Tott their marriage. Martyn Tott stated that having the money taken away was torture. It caused him to lose sight of everything that was important. He also took part in an Evangelical church that he later claimed was close to a cult.
Martyn Tott writes books, scripts and creates short films and he spends holidays in Cornwall. After many legal battles, trying to move to the US, and his obsession with winning the lottery Martyn finally let go of everything. He then started dating a college graduate.
There are no news reports on where Kay Tott is and if she continues to play the lottery.
There are no social media accounts that I could find for Kay but since Martyn Tott is an author of two books he has a Twitter account that he uses for marketing purposes. On his Twitter page, you can see what Martyn Tott is working on currently such as short films and a third book.
Martyn Tott wrote a book about his ordeal with losing out on £3million, the separation from Kay, and his involvement with an Evangelical church. The book is called Six Magic Numbers and it can be purchased on Amazon. He wrote another book called Five Still Missing but isn’t related to his and Kay’s lottery loss.
When Kay and Martyn Tott purchased their ticket they should have kept the piece of paper safe in a folder and checked the numbers during or after the draw. What’s the point of purchasing lottery tickets if you’re not going to check them?
Additionally, after Kay and Martyn Tott realized that they weren’t going to get their winnings they should have let it be. The couple’s marriage may have lasted if Martyn didn’t become obsessed with fighting with Camelot.
However, some situations are out of everyone’s control. As long as Kay and Martyn Tott are living healthy and peaceful lives now.
The couple didn’t realize they won and didn’t claim their prize within the 180 day grace period. Camelot’s rules are absolute and the company can’t change them no matter how much one can prove to be a winner.
After getting a divorce Kay and Martyn Tott went their separate ways. Kay wanted to move on whereas Martyn was still obsessed with trying to claim money from Camelot. They now live completely separate lives.
There were many celebrities that spoke in support of the couple’s loss including Tony Blair and Richard Branson. But the lottery group stated that they wouldn’t change their rules due to popular opinions from celebrities.
It would seem that Kay and Martyn Tott went through a tough time trying to get their jackpot out of the National Lottery. Martyn stated that he became obsessed with it which cost him his marriage.
Looking back many years later, Martyn reveals that he is finally happy that he didn’t get the jackpot money. He stated that money doesn’t guarantee happiness and it might have changed him for the worst. Despite all the couple had been through, Martyn is now a successful author and short filmmaker. I hope that Kay is also doing well wherever she may be.