A Melbourne resident accidentally won in excess of $46 million (US$33 million) on March 26 after buying two lottery tickets unknowingly.
The man wishes to stay anonymous, but he had bought one ticket at the Winning Lotteries in the northwestern suburb of St. Albans and another one at the Footscray Centre in the city’s inner-west.
It was not until the gaming company, the Lott, contacted him with news about his win that the man knew he had really won a double division one prize of AUD $46.6 million.
The lotto officials tried to call the winner that same evening without reply. When the man finally answered the call, he told the officials that he had checked his Oz Lotto draw results online and couldn’t believe what he saw.
“You’re kidding! Am I seeing things?” he said in a press release. “I just checked my entry online and I think I know what you’re about to tell me. I’m speechless, I can’t believe it, I just finished work for the night.”
The man who usually works as a laborer was still oblivious at the time that he had won the division one prize of over AUD $23.3 million twice the Lott officials informed him that he had bought two tickets with exactly the same numbers, meaning he had won twice.
In the wake of understanding this, he revealed he has played with the same exact numbers for the 30 years.
“I play every week. I have always marked my entries but I have never chosen the numbers on anything in particular,” he said. “They weren’t special before but they are now.”
He said he needs to think deeply about how could spend his fortune.
“I need time for the news to register,” he said. “I might think about retiring, first maybe a new home or a holiday, I’ll definitely share it with my family.”
The Lott continues to encourage everyone who bought a ticket for the $70 million (US$49.6 million) Oz Lotto draw to check their numbers as soon as possible given a division one from Tasmania is yet to claim their cash prize.
“Imagine discovering you’re a midweek multi-millionaire,” the Lott spokesperson Bronwyn Spencer said. “You may not think it’s possible that you could be the division one winner we’re searching for but, if you purchased an unregistered entry in this week’s Oz Lotto draw that you haven’t checked yet, you’re in with a chance.”
There is no way for the lottery officials to contact the ticketholder and ideally, they have to wait for players to check their tickets and phone them. The ticket was bought from Hobart City Lotto in downtown Hobart.
Notwithstanding the three division-one prizes in the draw, a sum of 1.1 million prizes worth over $24.6 million (US$17.4 million) were awarded in divisions two to seven. This includes 14 division two winners, who each won $49,892.40.
Last year, there were 20 division one prizes, which by and large netted over $253.7 million (US$179.6 million).
Below were the winning numbers:
12, 28, 24, 29, 9, 18, and 25, with supplementary numbers 13 and 31.
What do people do with their prize money?
In 2018, a Sydney resident donated some of his Lotto winnings to help farmers struggling through the drought. The man in his 40s was one of the seven division one winners and got $686, 700 in prize money, said Yahoo7 News.
He told the media that he had been playing occasionally for some time and that initially, he thought it was a joke. He reported that he had a list of individuals whom he has intended to share his fortune with and that farmers were his number one priority.
“We were going to give a donation to the drought fund, but we can increase that now and make it more substantial. I think if we’re blessed with something like this, we should pass it on,” the man told Yahoo7. “We’ll also pay off our mortgage and put the rest in for the kids, for their education.”