Sonia Bartley is still hopeful that she will get that $186-million bounty that she insists she won while playing the Super Lotto game five years ago.

But that’s a slim hope, maybe not even a hope at all.

The Clarendon-born senior citizen who now lives in Portmore, St Catherine, said that she bought what she considered a winning ticket in the 342nd draw on December 28, 2012, but a series of mystifying events has left her frustrated, disappointed, and now having to face the reality of bursting her bubble of hope.

Bartley maintains that she bought the ticket with the numbers 1,3,5,7,16 and bonus ball 10 from a “Cash Pot shop” at ‘Big Tree’ in Denbigh, Clarendon, and when she found out two days later that she had won, she went back to the establishment to find out how she could claim her prize.

She said that the agent took the ticket from her, saying that she could not pay out that amount, and added that the ticket would be included in the day’s sales and taken to Kingston for processing. She did not write her name on the ticket, nor did she sign it.

Now in the twilight of her life, she remains bemused that the dream of being labelled a millionaire, a Jamaican one at any rate, will not become reality.

According to Supreme Ventures’ Draw Manager Anthony Jackson, there was in fact a winning ticket drawn on that day, but from a different location than that stated by Bartley.

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Jackson confirmed that the numbers quoted by Bartley were the winning ones for that draw.

“The winning ticket was bought for $200 at Nicey Nicey Bar and Grill, Blyndloss, Linstead, St Catherine, but no winner turned up to collect the money,” Jackson told the Jamaica Observer in an interview last week — a response to Bartley’s plea to the media for assistance.

“We give winners up to 90 days to claim their prizes. If no one collects the winnings, that money goes to the Government, so there is no way that the winner can get back that money at this stage,” Jackson stated.

Super Lotto’s gift to the Government’s Consolidated Fund will not go down well with Bartley, who believes that she was used and “given the runaround” by people in Supreme Ventures’ local Clarendon set-up.

She still believes that although the betting company had told her that the 90-day period for winners to claim their prizes had long passed, a special investigation could be done to verify her claim that she was the legitimately qualified candidate for a progressive growth in her bank account.

In relating her version of some of the finer details of almost five years ago, Bartley, who said that most of her relatives did not know that she played the popular regional game, suggested that she was the victim of circumstances.

“A was buying the lotto like one one and me find out say me cyaan win, so me start buy two two, and three three, but still cyaan win. So one time me buy whole heap a numbers and one time one of them play.

“Me carry it where me buy it and tell the lady working in the shop to look at it and give it back to me. But she keep it, never give it back to me at all… she never want to give it back to me.

“I called Supreme Ventures and one of the officers say she would check it. I didn’t write my information on the ticket, but the vendor say she put it in the day’s sale. When me check back, the lady say another lady take it to Kingston. I went to the Half-Way-Tree office and a man there said I should write my name because they were investigating it, because they didn’t have anybody to pay it out to.

“I have nobody to call up to this blessed moment. I go up there the other day and nothing happen.

“I never hear of anybody cashing it,’ I don’t think anybody cash it. All Supreme Ventures telling me is that they can’t do anything without the ticket and the girl who was working at the lotto shop don’t work there anymore and I don’t even know how to contact her,” Bartley bemoaned.

Checks with Supreme Ventures showed that there have been two Super Lotto winners who have not turned up to collect their prizes in recent years.

“Them take the ticket from me and put a slip on it,” Bartley said of her experience.

Another family member told the Sunday Observer that there was something “more than fishy” about the whole series of events.

Like Bartley, the relatives, who asked not to be named, said that Supreme Ventures had made a mistake with the point of sale.

“That ticket was bought in Denbigh, Clarendon. At the time she was living along Glenmuir Road, so she would just go down and buy her tickets. She usually kept a record of all the numbers that she bought.

“The young lady at the Cash Pot store told her she could not pay that prize, it had to be paid in Kingston. She innocently gave her the ticket and when she went back to the lady, she said the boss took the ticket and she is awaiting on the boss to take back the winnings. The ticket was taken from her and a slip was put on it.

“She kept talking to those in May Pen, who told her that the Kingston people were working on it. She was then told she could go to the Kingston office to collect it, but they have her all over the place,” the relative said.

But Supreme Ventures insisted that the door had been closed on the entire issue.

“There is nothing that she can do at this stage,” reiterated Jackson. “From our records the ticket was bought in Linstead, St Catherine, and the time has long passed for the winnings to be paid out.”

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