A man who says he misplaced a winning lottery ticket more than 10 years ago has won a preliminary skirmish in his battle to claim a $3.

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3 million prize.

Robert Clemett says he bought the Oz Lotto ticket in September 1997 at Greenfield Park Newsagency in Sydney’s west, but lost it in February 2000 when he moved into Housing Commission premises.

He says he wrote down the last five digits of the Ticket Serial Number (TSN) in a receipt book in February 1998.

This formed the basis of his application in the NSW Supreme Court to access material from NSW Lotteries to help him decide if he has a case.

Mr Clemett said he was preoccupied at the time of the draw because he was upset about the likelihood of losing his home and was due to have heart surgery.

“He said that his illness prevented him from realising that the Oz Lotto draw was on Tuesday, 23 September and that he did not check whether he had the winning ticket,” Justice Clifton Hoeben said in his judgment on Thursday.

Mr Clemett said his memory of the ticket was triggered only in 2001 when the Nine Network’s A Current Affair broadcast a segment about unclaimed lottery prizes.

Since that time he has written more than 50 letters to NSW Lotteries, which says he failed to provide details matching the unclaimed Division One prize winning entry.

“An examination of the letters sent by the plaintiff … reveals considerable inconsistencies, particularly as to the date and time of purchase, the type of ticket, the price paid and TSN,” Justice Hoeben said.

Mr Clemett has now settled on three possible purchase dates and Justice Hoeben has allowed him to access computerised records of tickets issued from Greenfield Park Newsagency at specified times on September 17, 18 and 19.

“If a computerised record exists of a ticket issued during the specified timeframe with a TSM ending in those numbers, that should allow counsel for the plaintiff to provide him with advice as to whether he is entitled to make a claim for relief against NSW Lotteries,” Justice Hoeben said.