Lotto £33m claim grandmother Susanne Hinte: 'Ticket has ruined my life and I'll never play again'
German-born woman says submitting crumpled and torn ticket to Camelot has ruined her life and she will never play National Lottery again
Published 01/02/2016 | 08:42
A grandmother who claimed she put a National Lottery ticket worth £33 million through the wash has said she felt suicidal because "my life has been taken away from me".
Susanne Hinte disclosed she wanted to take her own life last week after hitting the headlines for claiming she bought a ticket bearing the winning Lotto numbers.
The 48-year-old categorically denied altering the ticket - which had not won a half-share of the record £66m jackpot - in an attempt to defraud Camelot.
German-born Miss Hinte said she will never play the lottery again and the spotlight had left her "going out of my mind".
She was thrown into the public eye - and even had her home pelted with eggs - as Camelot appealed for the second winner of the record jackpot to come forward.
Miss Hinte bought her ticket from Ambleside News, in Worcester, and said it emerged crumpled in a jeans pocket after being washed at 60 degrees.
Miss Hinte, from Warndon, Worcester, said she took it to the newsagent where she bought it to see if it could go through the scanner, but when it did not she returned home and wrote to Camelot instead.
The numbers were displayed, but the crucial barcode was illegible and the date was torn and missing.
Miss Hinte said she was "sorry because of what has happened", but insisted she had made an innocent mistake after finding the ticket "folded up and all dried".
She said the ticket appeared to have been so badly damaged because she dampened and opened it with tweezers to avoid it falling "to pieces" if she had used her fingers.
Miss Hinte told The Sun on Sunday: "No amount of money I could ever get could make up for what has happened. I wish I'd never done it.
"I am never going to buy a lottery ticket again. I mean that with all my heart.
"I wanted to kill myself last week because I just thought nothing can be worse than this. I am sorry for what's happened, my life has been taken away from me."
She admitted she "never believed it was the winning ticket", but denied altering it in an attempt to fool Camelot, which warned it would take action against attempted fraud.
She said talk of possible police investigations into fraudulent claims was "frightening".
"I'm not perfect, but I haven't done anything wrong. Everyone is mentioning fraud, but I don't think I am in the wrong. My conscience is clear."
The lottery operator had been investigating hundreds of claims of lost, damaged or stolen tickets in Worcester before the punter who scooped the half-share came forward. The winner has chosen to remain anonymous.
A Camelot spokesman said: “We’re delighted that the winner of this amazing prize has now come forward and we hope that they will enjoy their win.
"It would have been awful if the ticket-holder had missed out on this substantial and life-changing amount of money. We would like to remind all National Lottery players to check their tickets every time they play.”
West Mercia Police said they are not investigating the hundreds of claims and will only do so if Camelot seeks to prosecute them.
Married couple David and Carol Martin, both 54, from Hawick in the Scottish Borders, won the other half of the massive payout from the January 9 draw.