A FAMILY scooped £25 million on the lottery but refused to collect the prize - because they didn't know what to do with the huge fortune.
Friedrich Mayrhofer's number's came in on the Canadian lottery in 2013. But the 67-year-old from Vancouver did absolutely nothing.
He finally came forward this week nearly two years after winning the life-changing sum, solving a 21-month mystery over the identity of the jackpot winner and putting an end to speculation that attracted national interest in Canada.
“This has been a very unique situation for all of us involved, let alone the winners. And there has been significant public interest in this win,” said the president of B.C. Lottery Corp.
But Mayrhofer had good reason for his inactivity.
He and his family had failed to come forward sooner due to a fear that they couldn’t handle such an enormous sum of money.
Mayrhofer also told reporters at a packed press conference that he and his family were private people and were concerned about becoming local celebrities.
A lawyer had tried to collect the winnings on behalf of the family just days before the ticket expired which led to the winners being identified.
He and his family have hired an adviser to help in handling the huge prizemoney, which is hardly surprising given the initial caution showed by the family.
But in hindsight it was a level of caution he said cost him. He told local reporters he wished he’d come to collect earlier because his family had lost about £250,000 in interest by waiting so long.
He entered the press conference carrying a picture of himself with a previous lottery win of £500 from two decades before.
“It took 20 years to get a few more zeros on the end,” he said with a smile.
When asked if he was going to keep buying tickets, the avid lottery player said he had already purchased two tickets for the next big draw on Friday.
“If I win Friday, I’ll be here on Monday,” he said to a roar of laughter from the media and onlookers. “I’ll make up for the last (lost) interest,” he joked.