Fri, Oct 28, 9:24am by Jonathan Zaun
For a few days after last weekend’s Saturday Gold Lotto draw, the world knew only that a winning ticket had been sold to someone shopping at the Surf News outlet inside the Marina Mirage shopping centre in Main Beach, Queensland.
Days passed without a winner stepping forward to claim the jackpot prize of AUD$4 million, and lotto officials put the word out to help jog the lucky player’s memory.
Then, on Tuesday the 25th of October, a Gold Coast man in his 50s heard the news that a nearby newsagency he happened to frequent had sold a winning ticket. Motivated to check his own stash of lotto stubs, the man discovered he held the correct combination of 37, 35, 16, 22, 42 and 39, along with supplementary numbers of 43 and 29.
Speaking with officials from the Golden Casket lotto service, the winner – who has chosen to remain anonymous for now – described the roller coaster ride of emotions he went through while confirming that his ticket held the winning numbers:
“I usually play every single week but I don’t usually check my tickets, I save four sometimes five tickets, and then just put them in my wallet and then leave them and maybe six weeks later I check my numbers!
“So this ticket probably would have sat in my wallet for a couple of weeks before I checked it! Luckily this morning I saw on the news that the weekend’s winning ticket was sold at Surf News Marina Mirage – so I thought I better hurry up and check it!”
According to the anonymous winner, after scanning the winning numbers posted on the Golden Casket website, he still couldn’t quite believe his good fortune. He then asked his boss to borrow a phone to place a call directly to lotto officials for a more concrete confirmation:
“As soon as I got into work I checked my numbers on the computer. I couldn’t believe it, I must have checked my ticket six times! Then I went and got my boss and got him to check it on his phone and he said ‘Yep you’re definitely a winner!’
“Then my boss cheerily told me to go and never return! He’s a good boss!”
With only a single winning ticket sold across all of Australia for the Saturday Gold Lotto’s first division prize – via Draw # 3679 – the man became the sole winner of the entire AUD$4,114,177.70 jackpot. The last time an entire Saturday Gold Lotto prize pool was claimed by a single player occurred on the 12th of March of this year, when a Brisbane man in his 30s won Draw # 3615.
Asked about his plans for the windfall, the winner offered the usual forecast of property purchases and an extended sabbatical from work:
“I’ll definitely be taking some time off working and there are plenty of holidays to come. I’ll also probably buy myself a house and one for my kids too!”
Kay and Ken Byrnes, owners of the Surf News Marina Mirage newsagency where the winning ticket was sold, were also in a celebratory mood after learning that they’d helped mint Australia’s newest millionaire. Mr. Byrnes told Golden Casket that the winner is a regular customer, and that their newsagency:
“It’s wonderful to hear the winner has now checked their numbers and come forward to claim their $4 million prize! We’re so happy for him and thrilled to know it’s a Gold Coast local and a regular customer! We wish him all the best with his new found fortune.
“But we’ve got a great big white wall to fill up with more winning customer plaques, so fingers crossed we can do it again in Gold Lotto’s $21 million prize pool this Saturday 29 October.”
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