For years, Robert Clemett has claimed he had what everyone dreams of – a winning lottery ticket for $3.
But on Wednesday, the NSW Supreme Court found that, in all likelihood, he just hoped it to be so.
Mr Clemett took NSW Lotteries to court, claiming he bought an Oz Lotto ticket in September 1997 at Greenfield Park Newsagency in Sydney’s west.
However, his claim was never made public until after 2001 when the Nine Network broadcast a story on A Current Affair about unclaimed lottery prizes.
It was then that Mr Clemett wrote to the lottery company saying he had the winning ticket.
He was one of about 50 people to have contacted NSW Lotteries with such a claim or inquiry over the winning ticket.
But he was the only one to have taken the issue to court, seeking the sum of almost $3.35 million.
Mr Clemett argued he had lost the ticket in 2000 when he moved house.
Justice Lucy McCallum dismissed his claim on Wednesday.
She said Mr Clemett had not established on the balance of probabilities that he completed and entered an entry form for the draw which contained the six winning numbers.
It was unlikely, she found, that Mr Clemett could recall the exact composition of the six numbers after the lapse of almost four years, with nothing to prompt his memory.
However, she said that she did not discount the possibility Mr Clemett now genuinely believed he had the multimillion dollar ticket.
“He appears to have persuaded himself over a period of years that he is the rightful claimant to the unpaid prize from Oz Lotto,” Judge McCallum said.
“In my assessment, his fixation on that as an immutable fact has prompted him over the years to bend all of the surrounding evidence to meet it.”
Judge McCallum said she was not persuaded by his evidence that he submitted a winning entry or that he has any entitlement to the prize claimed.
The matter was dismissed, with Mr Clemett ordered to pay NSW Lotteries costs.