A man claims he bought the unclaimed winning ticket from a lotto in 1997. And is now fighting the case in court.
A man claims he bought the unclaimed winning ticket from a lotto in 1997. And is now fighting the case in court.

Man’s fight for unclaimed $3.3m lotto win

A highly confidential data file will be scrutinised by a judicial officer to determine whether a man who claims his winning lotto ticket was thrown away at a newsagency is telling the truth.

David Owen Renshaw claims he is the winner of an unclaimed prize of $3.3 million from Oz Lotto draw #188 on Tuesday, September 23 in 1997.

He is one of dozens of people to come forward since the draw claiming they're the winner, the barrister for NSW Lotteries, Justin Hogan-Doran, said at a hearing in the NSW Supreme Court today.

"There have been about 50 but only about two have led to litigation," he told Associate Justice Joanne Harrison.

"It's almost like the little orphan Annie with the golden locket.

"Hopefully this one - through an inspection process - will resolve."

Mr Renshaw said he purchased the ticket from Greenfield Park Newsagency in Sydney's west between 2pm and 3pm on September 19, 1997.

He said he handed his ticket into Granville Railway Station newsagency the week after the draw and saw the words "provisional winner" displayed on the computer terminal screen.

But he said the shop attendant didn't speak English very well and threw the ticket in the bin, telling him "no winner".

It wasn't until around 2015 that Mr Renshaw said he became aware "provisional winner" meant he had won the first division prize in the Oz Lotto draw almost two decades earlier.

Mr Renshaw claims his ticket was a combination of six standard games and "six system 7" games - all "marked by hand" - plus six, nine or 10 auto pick games.

"That would mean he's nailed his colours to the mast, with a certain amount of wiggle room," Mr Hogan-Doran said.

"Whether it was six, six, six or six, six, nine or six, six, 10."

He previously described the ticketless case as "doomed to fail".

Court documents state the hand-picked numbers were from family birthdays and addresses.

Barrister Louise Goodchild, acting pro bono for Mr Renshaw, said she was instructed to agree that "highly confidential" winning ticket data file information be made available to Associate Justice Harrison.

"To look at that document compared to what my fellow says on affidavit evidence and for Your Honour then to satisfy yourself whether or not that matches up," Ms Goodchild said.

She said if the winning ticket data did not match it would mean an end to the lawsuit.

Associate Justice Harrison replied: "That's an unusual course but if it helps to get the case going".

Mr Hogan-Doran said if the judge was to "conclude the date and time that he (Mr Renshaw) has committed to is wrong", the proceedings would be dismissed without the need for any further comparison.

He presented the confidential exhibit for the judge to consider.

It is a print out of all of the tickets bought or cancelled at Greenfield Park Newsagency that day between 1pm and 3pm.

"So, a little bit broader than his time frame, in order to demonstrate that there was no winning ticket purchased on that day in that time period from that agency, and therefore the ticket he bought - if he bought one - is not the winning ticket," Mr Hogan-Doran said.

Ms Goodchild said the parties are in dispute over whether the confidential data file contains all ticket information or whether it is missing information about winning tickets.

"I say that this is properly, simply, a ticket database but the way that it works ... when there's a winning ticket, it's extracted and another database is created," she said.

"That's how the patent works."

Associate Justice Harrison asked: "Are you saying that it doesn't appear in this database?"

"That's right, it doesn't," Ms Goodchild replied.

"(But in) the winning ticket data file, my fellow says his ticket is going to be there. That's what he thinks."

Mr Hogan-Doran said: "It would appear if it were there".

The data has come from a software system "that is three systems ago" for NSW Lotteries, he said.

"The print out that you're going to get is a print out of all transactions at a newsagency on a particular day, winning and un-winning," Mr Hogan-Doran told Associate Justice Harrison.

"(It) demonstrates ... the way the system works did not delete the ticket."

There were three winners in the Oz Lotto draw including an unclaimed unregistered ticket.

The judge said she would contact the parties if she had any trouble analysing the data and adjourned the matter to October 7.

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