Brutal betting and lotto heartbreaks – £2.50 account fail to worst money out ever

As the saying goes “you gotta be in it to win it.”

And despite following the golden rule of bagging big money, these unlucky betters and gamblers were so close yet so far to changing their lives forever.

The phrase “could have been me” has never been so bitterly true for those who have faced blunders on their pursuits of banking cash, from either the lottery or putting on bets.

READ MORE: Woman adds to list of lotto winners to have prizes withheld saying her ‘jaw dropped’

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From finding out they’ve ‘won’ £182million to brutally realising the tiny amount of £2.50 wasn’t in the account to seal the win and the harsh reality of cashing out early – luck is not on side for these folk.

So, here we take a look at some of the most brutal tales of millionaire near misses and savage stories of large sums swept away before the eyes.

‘Worst cash out ever’

Losing a bet is worse enough. But cashing out your bet, losing £800,000 and being known as the lad with the ‘worst cash out ever’ surely rubs much salt in the wound.

Well, this was the case for 24-year-old Ethan Conway who had impeccably bad timing when he cashed out minutes before his £219 bet could have won him the hundreds of thousands.

Diogo Dalot
Ethan cashed out after Diogo Dalot’s goal

The Welsh scaffolder thought he’d try his luck by putting the bet on three scores for the final day of matches of the 2023-24 Premier League season on Sunday (May 19).

Although Ethan correctly predicted the results for the games – Brighton 0-2 Manchester United, Liverpool 2-0 Wolves, and Sheffield United 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur – he cashed out 15 minutes too early.

After the lad watched on as Diago Dalot netted the first goal for Man United, bringing the score to 1-0, he thought he would play it safe and so cashed out a healthy £5,130.

But, the scaffolder could have been the owner of much much much more.

His joy at being £5,130 up was very short-lived as Man United’s Rasmus Hojlund managed to boot another in the net for the team, making it 2-0 in the 88th minute.

The goal that changed it all for Ethan…

So it’s really no surprise that Liverpool supporter Ethan is “gutted” for being so close, yet so far from the life-changing sum, reports Wales Online. “I was just tamping, really. Just heartbroken disbelief if anything,” Ethan said.

“I was looking at new cars, new houses, but obviously it’s a different story now. [My family and friends] were in disbelief as well. But obviously they’re happy that I won the five grand.”

Despite being content with the money he pocketed, Ethan said there’s “no chance” at betting again anytime soon.

‘£1million dumping’

Michael Cartlidge,39, was really left in the gutter after his girlfriend dumped him – and took off with her £1milllion lotto winnings.

The bloke, from Lincolnshire, felt that he was hard done to after then-girlfriend Charlotte Cox,37, both decided to enter their local Nisa and purchase a scratch card, the winning scratch card.

Although, Michael was not left with even a penny of the winnings after his partner of three months packed her bags just weeks after becoming a millionaire.

Michael was left an unhappy bunny when his then-girlfriend took the £1million winnings

Despite Charlotte purchasing the ticket out of her own pocket and doing the honours of scratching, Michael believes that he is entitled to half of the winnings as it was his ‘idea’ to get a ticket in the first place.

He even claimed that he tried to send money to cover the purchase. At first, Charlotte decided that she was going to share her new found riches with Michael – who were living together at the time.

Though, Charlotte decided to up and leave with the money. Michael found out that she wanted him out the house via a friend, reportedly.

The dad-of-one told The Sun: “She said she didn’t have the money to spend on scratch cards, but I said I’d transfer her the money. We were in the shop and I went on my Halifax app.

“I started the transfer, I held it up to show her. You can see me doing this on the shop CCTV… The signal was bad so it didn’t go through at the time in the shop.”

However, Charlotte’s name and address was filled in on the back of the scratch card…

Charlotte pocked the scratch card winnings

Michael is said to be pursuing ‘legal’ action in attempts to get his hands on money that he believes is rightfully his after he was told by Allywn, who run the National Lottery, would not be seeing anything from the jackpot after looking into the matter.

Allwyn relayed to the The Sun that the Scratchcard Games rules make clear “only one person can be the owner of a ticket and that only the person whose name and address is written on the back”.

The firm confirmed that any dispute between parties must be resolved between themselves.

‘£2.50 account blunder’

The price of £2.50 might seem small to most, but it turned out to be a massive cost to two young lovebirds in what could have been a life changing moment.

Rachel Kennedy, who was a Business student Brighton University at the time, thought she had just pocketed a whopping £182million.

Rachel missed out on the huge £182million jackpot because of the account blunder

A huge amount for anyone, let alone a teenager studying for a degree. Despite having matched all seven EuroMillions numbers back in February 2021, Rachel was let with nothing.

That’s because she didn’t have enough money in her bank account to pay the £2.50 charge on her account.

Her story quickly became a viral tale where many people could sympathise with Rachel, others not so much.

“I called my boyfriend Liam and my mum into the room and they couldn’t believe it either so I was like, ‘oh my god I need to call them”,” she told The Sun.

“I called the number thinking that I had won £182million and they said ‘yeah you’ve got the right numbers but you didn’t have the funds in your account for the payment of the ticket so it didn’t actually go through’.

Rachel and Liam
Rachel and her boyfriend, Liam, were excited to buy a dream house and car

“I was on top of the world when I thought I had won but when I found out I hadn’t, Liam was actually more upset than I was.”

Sadly for the young couple, their dream car and house will stay as a dream for now. But, the National Lottery did send a message of “luck” to Rachel for her further endeavours with the lottery – that’s if she decides to do it again.

‘Stung by debts’

For many who win a couple of grand on lottery, the winnings might go in the savings for a rainy day or even towards a holiday.

But for mum Brittany Wilson, from Florida, who pocketed £3,930, she was looking forward to paying off her debts that have clouded over her – and also wanted to treat her children.

However, she was denied the cash sum that would clear her debts because of the existence of them. Now, you might think ‘what on earth’?

Well, when she went to the shops to collect her winnings she was turned away empty handed thanks to Florida state officials.

Brittany’s winnings are being withheld by the state..

That’s because Brittany has fallen foul of the current situation unfolding in the southern US state where thousands of citizens have been receiving benefits they weren’t supposed to, according to Florida Commerce.

Despite trying to get in contact with the Florida Unemployment Assistance Programme “almost every day”, Brittany found herself going around in circles being met with someone who couldn’t help.

Speaking to ABC Action News, Wilson said: “It was hard for me during that time. I was financially struggling … something just told me to go to the store and try out my winnings.

“I was thinking about all the bills that I have held up, just paying those off.

“Something has to be done. This cannot keep happening – with the times now, where [the price of] everything’s going up: rent’s going up, food’s going up. Let me have this money.”