Origins: In April 1995 Timothy O'Brien committed suicide by shooting himself in the head because his half-share of a five-week ticket on Britain's (then) new National Lottery had expired just before the draw he thought would have made him a multi-millionaire.
The truth is, even if he'd held a valid ticket for his usual numbers, O'Brien wouldn't have won. The numbers that came up would have entitled the ticketholders to a prize of
Barbara "innumeracy kills" Mikkelson
Originally published: 31 December 1998
Last updated: 12 January 2016
Bunyan, Nigel. "Father Shot Himself Over Jackpot That Never Was." The Daily Telegraph. 16 June 1995 (p. 3). Oldfield, Stephen. "Tragedy of the Lottery Loser." Daily Mail. 11 April 1995 (p. 1). Reuters. "British Lottery Suicide Prompts Calls for Reform." 11 April 1995.