I lost my winning lottery ticket worth MILLIONS… I proved we won but couldn’t claim prize because of a technicality

A MAN has told of his horror after missing out on a £3MILLION jackpot because he lost his winning lottery ticket.

Despite computer records proving the ticket was his, then 25-year-old Martyn Tott, from Watford, lost out on the cash due to a technicality.

Martyn Tott and his wife Kay, from Watford, Hertfordshire, thought they had won £3million but lost the money because of a technicalityRex

The purchasing manager and his wife Kay only realised they’d won six months after the numbers were called – and then couldn’t find the ticket.

Despite records at their local Londis proving they bought the winning ticket in 2001 they were refused the money after an agonising 45-day wait.

All because they hadn’t registered the loss of the slip of paper within 30 days.

He was devastated, his marriage to wife Kay quickly broke down, and he briefly joined a Christian cult in the US as his life spiralled out of control.

Martyn told the Mail on Sunday: “Having that money taken away was torture. For a long time I lost sight of who I was and what I believed in.”

Martyn had planned to quit his job, move into a plush mansion and go on a round-the-world trip with the £3,011,065 jackpot.

But his plans turned to ash when lottery organiser Camelot and then numerous lawyers told him there was nothing he could do to appeal the refusal.

The decision sparked national outrage, with Sir Richard Branson and Tony Blair among high-profile Brits to champion the cause.

The Totts’ hired a lawyer on a no-win-no-fee basis to sue Camelot, claiming its 30-day rule wasn’t clear.

Their argument wasn’t strong enough to stand up in court.

Blair’s wife Cherie Booth QC offered her legal opinion at a reduced rate, but also found the case wasn’t worth pursuing.

And Sir Richard flew the couple out to his privately owned Necker Island for a week as compensation – which only served to rub salt in the wound.

The couple – who had been living off a joint income of £34,000 a year – disagreed on how to deal with the loss.

While Kay was happy to move on and work on their marriage, Martyn became obsessed with seeking justice.

Their two-year relationship fell apart and Kay moved out of the two-bed maisonette they shared in Watford, Hertfordshire.

Martyn quickly became lost, quitting his job to write an autobiography of the injustice while living off his shrinking savings fund.

He started spending his days desperately researching similar Lotto stories on the internet.

And then he turned to Christianity.

He began an online friendship with an American woman called Tanya in 2003, and she invited him to stay with her in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tanya introduced him to a church group led by a “self-appointed Apostle” Martyn has only ever named as “Toby” for fear of repercussions.

Martyn tried to get a US visa to join the church permanently, but this proved difficult.

And he later discovered all members had to pay 10 per cent of their earnings to the church leader.

He decided to return to the UK, where Martyn’s lawyers brought the case against Camelot to London’s High Court in March 2007.

He was warned he would have to pay Camelot’s £400,000 legal fees if he lost.

His wealthy sponsor, Jonathan Bunn, pulled out.

And Martyn was suddenly faced with the fact he would never see his lost millions.

He published his novel, Six Magic Numbers, in October 2009.

He now claims to be a film writer, casting director, director, cameraman and editor.

Martyn (pictured) had planned to quit his job, move into a plush mansion and go on a round-the-world trip with the £3,011,065 jackpotRex