With its 12th-century church, clutch of newsagents and parade of high-street shops, the town of Stevenage, Herts, is a rather unlikely setting for a treasure hunt.
But almost everyone here is taking part in a desperate quest for loot, leaving no stone — or sofa cushion — unturned.
For today is D-Day: the 180th day since someone in the area bought a winning EuroMillions ticket.
The owner of the £2 ticket stands to win £64 million — but has until just 11pm tonight to claim their jackpot.
If the ticket isn’t found in time, every penny (not to mention the £645,000 interest that the prize money has already accrued) will go to the National Lottery Good Causes fund to be distributed to charities around the country. Should the winning ticket remain elusive, it will represent the largest unclaimed prize in British lottery history.
No wonder everyone who has ever bought a Lottery ticket in Stevenage and nearby Hitchin is frantically checking their coat pockets, rifling through their car’s glove compartment and ransacking the kitchen drawers.