Wed, Sep 13, 10:39am by Staff Writer
After two Division One jackpots were claimed by area residents within four days’ time, the coastal city of Hervey Bay in Queensland became Australia’s latest lottery hotspot.
The action began on September 2, when a retired Hervey Bay woman (who wishes to remain anonymous) joined three other Queenslanders in winning the Saturday Gold Lotto $20 Million SuperDraw.
As one of 12 players across Australia to hold a winning Division One ticket for Draw #3769, the woman was awarded a $1.6 million share of the jackpot.
Upon learning the good news, the lucky winner told Golden Casket lotto officials that having her dreams come true led to a sleepless night:
“I’m a bit overwhelmed as a matter for fact. We didn’t sleep! My husband checked the numbers at home and he said, ‘You’ve won something here – a big prize.’
I said ‘Don’t be ridiculous! It couldn’t possibly be!’ But there it was!”
Asked about her plans for the future as a newly minted millionaire, the woman made sure to include family members in her big plans:
“It’s a big deal for us and our family. You wouldn’t believe how good a time this win has come so that we don’t have to worry about money and our children don’t have to worry about money.”
The winning ticket was a 12-game QuickPick purchased from Torquay News in the town of Torquay.
Just three days later, Draw #1229 of the Oz Lotto was held – putting a massive $30 million Division One jackpot up for grabs.
And once again, the winning 6-game QuickPick ticket was determined to have been sold in the Hervey Bay area, this time at Nextra Fraser Gateway Newsagency in Urraween – located less than five kilometers from Torquay News.
Over the next three days Golden Casket officials sounded the alarm via local media outlets, asking Hervey Bay lotto players to check their tickets, as the winning ticket was unregistered and remained unclaimed.
Finally, on September 8, the winner stepped forward to claim his enormous eight-figure prize – having been alerted by that very same media blitz:
“I’d heard there had been a win in Hervey Bay but it just didn’t register – I’d forgotten about my ticket. We watched the news last night and it said something about the winner was still to come through.
Then I went into the bedroom to check my ticket and I nearly fell over when I saw the all the winning numbers!
I was just shaking and cuddling everyone. I couldn’t believe it. I haven’t slept at all to be honest!”
Described in his winner’s story as a “down-to-earth Hervey Bay dad,” the as yet anonymous winner said he never expected his lotto hobby to pay such extravagant dividends:
“I’m a regular player – I just always get the small tickets. I don’t think of myself as a lucky person – I’ve just had tiny wins now and then. I’ve turned it around now!”
The man has big plans to share his newfound wealth with his children, before embarking on a nationwide sightseeing holiday:
“First we’re going to pay off the children’s mortgages and then we’re going to go travelling around Australia.
Travelling is something we’ve always wanted to do and now we can.”
The two most recent jackpots make it seven Division One winners for Hervey Bay in the last nine years.
Longtime lotto watchers may remember Hervey Bay as the home of Australia’s largest ever single-winner jackpot, after the Powerball lotto paid out $70 million to local grandparents in January of last year.
All told, Hervey Bay residents have claimed more than $100 million in lotto jackpots during the last 18 months alone.
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