Lost lottery tickets, but still won prizes

Lost lottery tickets, but still won prizes
Madam Zeng Yanqiu picked up five lottery tickets. Two of them carried winning numbers.

SINGAPORE - The woman who lost several lottery tickets that eventually netted more than $5,000 in winnings has been found - and she has won even more cash.

Earlier this week, Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that Chinese national Zeng Yanqiu had found five 4-D tickets at a walkway in Tampines, two of which hit several prizes in Saturday's draw. In total, the winnings added up to $5,445.

Wanbao eventually managed to track down the owner of the tickets, with the help of a Tampines supermarket employee who had spotted a woman searching for her tickets on Saturday afternoon.

That woman, a 50-year-old housewife who declined to be named, told Wanbao that she had gone to buy the tickets for her husband that day, and had carelessly stuffed them into her pants pocket.

Upon returning home, she found that the tickets had fallen out of her pocket. She could not find them despite retracing her steps, and so decided to buy the same set of numbers a second time.

This has resulted in her winning twice over. Her second batch of tickets have netted her about $5,000, as she had bet a smaller amount.

But there is now another hurdle ahead of her: She cannot collect her first batch of tickets, which had been handed to police, as she cannot prove she had bought them.

She said she went to the neighbourhood police post in Tampines Street 11 with a copy of Wanbao's article to collect her tickets.

"The police officer told me that there was no way to verify that the tickets belonged to me and so could not let me collect my tickets," the paper quoted her as saying.

My Paper understands that while the police handle lost-item reports, individuals in the same situation are advised to approach Singapore Pools directly.

The tickets will be held by the police until Singapore Pools can verify that the woman did buy them.

A spokesman for Singapore Pools told My Paper they have had customers going to them or the police complaining about lost tickets. But they said that, much like cash, these are difficult to recover.

She added that the identity of a prize claimant does not matter as Singapore Pools would give the winnings to whoever holds the ticket.

"We wish to emphasise that the verification is of the ticket, not the person who presents it," she said.

Meanwhile, Madam Zeng, who found the lost tickets and handed them to the police, has been called foolish by friends. But she said: "This money is not mine and I will never take it."

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