WINNING the national Lottery changed Dean Smethurst’s life…well, twelve hours of it until he found out he hadn’t won a fortune after all.

Dean, 32, was so excited that he was up all night on Wednesday celebrating and deciding how to spend what he believed was at least a £50,000 win.

In fact, it turned out to be three measly lucky dips on a future game.

“I am absolutely gutted,” said a severely crestfallen Dean in his newly-bought Chorley Road home which he had already allocated some of his “win” to do up. I thought, ‘this is it, it’s for real, my numbers have come up’.

For twelve hours he celebrated with family and friends, ringing up everyone he knew to let them know of his good fortune.

But when the phone lines at Camelot opened at 8am on Thursday he learned the awful truth.

His roller-coaster ride to riches and back began on Wednesday evening when he had his lotto card checked at the Farnworth Tesco store.

“I’d gone in to do a bit of shopping and I thought I’d check to see how I’d gone on in the previous Saturday’s draw.”

In a scenario which everyone dreams of, the checkout girl told him he had won.

“All the other staff applauded me,” said Dean who has been playing the National Lottery for six years.

“The receipt said I’d won a prize, that the store would not be able to pay it out and that I should contact Camelot immediately.”

Unfortunately, the phone lines were closed for the night so Dean went online and learned that he had potentially won at least £50,000.

He then set about about sharing the good news with his nearest and dearest.

“I didn’t sleep because I was so excited. My house is like a building site at the moment so that was the first thing that I decided to spend some of my winnings on. Then I decided to treat the family to a luxury holiday to Barbados.”

When the Camelot phone lines reopened at 8am on Thursday an excited Dean made the phone call he thought would change his life for ever.

“ I spoke to them and gave her the serial number of the ticket. She inputted it and said: ‘Well done, you’ve won...three lucky dips’. I asked her if she was sure, and then I asked to speak to a manager. I was gutted.”

It emerged that because the Wednesday lottery draw was in progress while Dean had his Saturday ticket checked, the checkout girl got that particular receipt message.

A spokesman for Camelot said: “In this instance, the player attempted to claim a prize during a 'draw break', when National Lottery sales are suspended while a draw takes place. The prize couldn’t be paid out at that time - because the ticket was still entered into a 'live' draw - so a validation slip was printed instead. To clarify, this generic slip is used for a number of scenarios - it's not exclusively used for high-tier prizes."

Poor Dean was relieved he had the day off on Thursday so he didn't have to face his colleagues .

"I just watched television and my mum made me some comfort food, which wasn't much comfort," said the man who, for a night at least, tasted what it was like to win.