4-D punter loses winning tickets but still ends up $5,000 richer

She had spent $57 on five 4-D tickets and then lost them. Her attempts to find the tickets were unsuccessful.

Three of the numbers that the 50-year-old housewife had picked turned out to be winners and she would have won $5,445.

While cursing her bad luck over the loss, she also had reason to celebrate as she still ended up $5,000 richer.

All thanks to a supermarket employee who had told her to buy some of her numbers again instead of crying over spilt milk.

She took his advice and spent another $20 on a smaller set of numbers. One of the numbers, 3290, struck the second prize, winning her $5,000 in Saturday's draw.

This is what happened to the housewife on a most unusual day when she was both loser and winner.

The housewife, who declined to be named, told Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao that she had bought the first set of tickets at around 4pm on Saturday for her husband.

When she got home, she realised that the tickets were missing. As she did not have her handbag with her, she had put the tickets into a pocket and believed that they had fallen out.

Worried that her husband would scold her, she immediately went back to the Singapore Pools outlet at an NTUC FairPrice supermarket at Block 107, Tampines Street 11 and searched for the missing tickets.

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When she could not find them, she grew frantic.

A supermarket employee, who declined to be named, told Lianhe Wanbao that he saw the woman walking around anxiously at the entrance.

He went up to her to find out what was going on. He then told her that she still had time to buy the numbers again.

"I told her not to panic. If she couldn't find the tickets, then she could just buy the numbers again," he said.

He said he also advised her to make a police report about her missing tickets. It is not known if she made a report.

Unknown to her, a woman had found the tickets on the ground near Block 108 at about 5pm.

Madam Zeng Yanqiu, a 47-year-old Chinese national, told The New Paper yesterday that she had noticed the tickets were for that day's draw.

So she waited there for about 20 minutes in case the owner came back to look for them.

When no one showed up, she took them home and was surprised to later find out that two of the five tickets had winning numbers.

One ticket had the numbers 8504 and 5170, which were bought using the iBet system which allows for different permutations of the four numbers to win prizes.

8504 corresponded with the first prize number, 0485, and 5170 corresponded with a consolation-prize number, 7150.

Another ticket had the number 3290, which won the second prize.

Instead of using the tickets to claim the winnings, Madam Zeng reported to the police that she had found the tickets and handed them over in the hope that they could be returned to the rightful owner.

The housewife told Lianhe Wanbao that she had thought it would be easy to get back her lost tickets, but was disappointed when the police said they needed evidence to prove that she is the owner.

Singapore Pools says that punters can report the loss of a ticket by providing the Ticket Security Number and completing the Lost/Stolen Ticket(s) form. But Singapore Pools will not investigate or assist in the tracing of the ticket.

Yesterday, when TNP went to its Block 107 outlet, a counter staff member confirmed that the housewife had bought tickets twice there on Saturday.

She added that the woman, who lives in the area, is a regular shopper at the supermarket and has bought 4-D from the outlet before.

It remains to be seen if this information can help the woman get back her lost tickets. If she does, she will enjoy another windfall by doubling her winnings to $10,000.

This article was published on April 16 in The New Paper.Get The New Paper for more stories.