There are many ways of telling if your lotto ticket is a lucky one after the draw has been and gone - you can check it at an in-store lotto machine, you can give it to a cashier to check, you can watch the lotto draw live, or you can read the results in the newspaper or online. And if you're a GiantLottos.com player, you'll receive an automatic winning notification, with no effort needed on your part.
But if you're Jane and Alan Slater, you don't worry about any of these traditional methods. Instead, you come up with one of your own - a lotto verification technique so unusual, it's as much of a talking point as winning the lotto in the first place.
Playing the EuroMillions lottery was nothing out of the ordinary for Jane and Alan Slater from the Isle of Wight - they were such loyal lotto fans, they'd been playing the same lotto numbers for over 20 years.
What did come as a surprise, however, was finally winning the lotto on Tuesday 29 September - an amazing achievement that saw them net a fantastic £150,000. So far, so fabulous, and the Slaters immediately set about making plans for their amazing windfall.
It's here where the story takes a turn for the incredible - and the incredibly welcome as well. Because only a few short days after winning the lotto, the Slaters discovered a second lotto ticket with the same winning numbers on, meaning they'd won the lottery twice, giving them a jackpot amount of £300,000 in total. And how did they discover their second winning ticket? With the help of their dog Ruby of course!
‘I discovered our first win in the early hours of Wednesday morning when I came in from work', says Alan. ‘To wind down from the shift I decided to check the football results and our EuroMillions numbers, but what I saw soon put a stop to my gentle wind down. We’d matched five main numbers and a lucky star with our numbers so I ran upstairs telling Jane to get out of bed, she just grumbled at me that it better be a good reason!’
‘[A few days later] we had a lovely walk chatting about the amazing start to the week with our EuroMillions win and how lucky we had been', Jane remembers. ‘As we got back in the car to head home Ruby hopped onto the back seat with me and disturbed this piece of paper inside a catalogue which gently floated down to my feet. I really can’t explain the way this piece of paper floated, it was like you see in slow motion in films, as though someone wanted me to notice it. I immediately reached down and picked up the slip of paper which turned out to be a lottery ticket.’
That it did - and it was discovered on Ruby's second birthday as well, by the birthday girl herself! As it turns out, both Jane and Alan had bought tickets for the draw separately, and forgotten to tell each other. When they eventually locked Jane's ticket away safely, both believed it to be the one they had bought - because as they later discovered (thanks to Ruby), Alan had left his ticket in the car, hidden in some holiday brochures. And there it might have stayed, hidden and forgotten, if not for Ruby's enthusiasm, and sheer winning luck!
Left emotional and tearful after their second amazing win, the Slaters plan on using their lotto jackpot to help their two children, and to make their retirement as rewarding as possible. And as for Ruby - well, we hope she'll be getting a fabulous birthday present!
Three cheers to the Slaters, three woofs for Ruby, and here's hoping you're just as lucky when you buy your own EuroMillions lotto ticket from GiantLottos.com in time for the next draw!