Having bought their ticket in the small town of South Gippsland, the duo, who wish to remain anonymous, came forward following a frantic three-day search by Tatts, Australia’s lottery operators. A number of calls for the winner to come forward were released, but were greeted with silence for the first few days following the draw, stirring up speculation about the winner’s identity among residents of the sleepy southern settlement. It wasn’t until Thursday evening that the pair realised they were the unsuspecting recipients of this vast fortune.
The couple made themselves known to lottery officials on Friday afternoon, although it was questionable as to whether the news had quite sunk in yet: "It's a big, big shock. It's incredible! Someone told us to check our ticket and it turned out that it was us all along," the jovial wife told The Age. Although plans have not yet been finalised as to how the vast fortune will be spent, the pair maintain they have always had an idea of how they wish to spend some of their winnings: "It's always been our plan that if we won the lottery, even $1 million, that we would share the money with the Leongatha community and many other good causes – and now that plan has just grown a lot bigger. This windfall is more than enough to look after our family and we're not greedy, so all we've been thinking about is how else we can help."
This massive jackpot is the equal largest top prize to be offered by Oz Lotto this year and brings to an end a run of six straight weeks without a winner, all of which is music to the ears of Peter Watchorn, owner of the Nextra Newsagency where the ticket was purchased, who believes this win will help put Leongatha on the map: "Fingers crossed the luck rubs off on some of our other local customers,” he said. As for the winners, it’s safe to say that they will be taking things a little easier from now on and enjoying the goodness their windfall can bring to their town and those they cherish dearly: "The biggest change for us after winning will be being able to retire and not being under the clock. It's amazing what you can do with more time to enjoy the things you love.”
If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning an amazing Oz Lotto prize of your own, tickets can be purchased online or from any authorised retailer throughout Australia. Best of luck and keep those fingers crossed!