Martyn and Kay Tott realized they had won the multi-million pound prize six months after the 2001 National Lottery draw was drawn.
They saw a call for the winners to come forward and noticed that their weekly numbers had secured the jackpot.
But tragically, the couple lost their winning ticket.
The Totts – who lived in a two-bedroom semi-flat in Watford – quickly became known as “Britain’s luckiest couple”.
They were then given the challenge of proving their victory at Camelot.
They proved that Kay had in fact purchased the ticket by obtaining computer records from their local Londi.
But the couple had broken a little-known National Lottery rule that lost tickets must be reported within 30 days.
The Totts waited 45 grueling days before being told they wouldn’t get their prize.
The case gained national attention with public figures including Sir Richard Branson and Tony Blair urging the lottery to award the multi-million pound prize.
But Camelot has not budged and the couple’s misfortune has strained their marriage, reports The Sun.
Martyn also spent five years trying to get his hands on the payment in court.
He later said he was glad they never received the money.
“To have that money withdrawn was torture,” he told the Mail on Sunday.
“For a long time, I lost sight of who I was and what I believed in. But I can honestly say I’m glad I didn’t get the £ 3million now.
“There is no guarantee that it would have brought me happiness. “
Earlier this year, a couple from Hertfordshire lost a EuroMillions jackpot of £ 182million.
Rachel Kennedy, 19, and Liam McCrohan, 21, were heartbroken in March after claiming payment for their ticket had not been made.
The couple, from Hertfordshire, realized that their usual numbers of 6, 12, 22, 29, 33, 6 and 11 had arrived, but there was a major problem: payment for their ticket had not been carried out.
They had played the same numbers for five consecutive weeks, before all seven numbers appeared in the draw.
Rachel explained how she set up her account to automatically purchase a EuroMillions ticket for each draw – but when payment for the winning ticket was attempted, the lottery account did not have enough funds.
Upon verifying her account after the draw, she was greeted with a message saying her numbers were a “winning game” – however, her heart sank when she realized the problem, The Sun reported.