Winning the lottery is literally the number one event looming at the top of the wish list for most Australian individuals and for a select few that dream has become a reality. Australian lotto has produced many multi-million dollar winners over the years, some taking in jackpots that will leave your jaw on the floor.
We take a look at some of the biggest ever lotto wins in Australian history, not to get your jealousy levels searing but as a reminder that extraordinary things can happen to ordinary people, you’ve just gotta be in it to win it.
OzLotto $70 million win – Queensland, 2013
In December of 2013, life changed for a group of girlfriends when they won the entire OzLotto $70 million jackpot, making the Australian record books for the biggest lotto jackpot ever taken by a single ticket. The winning ticket was purchased at Golden News and Casket Kiosk in Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast on a 12 game QuickPick. The exact number of friends who succeeded from this win remains undisclosed and the identity of the women remains withheld.
The group of friends shared a lunch date and then pooled the change from their bill together to purchase the ticket, never in a million years thinking they stood a chance. After the winner came forward, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the group could now afford to purchase a Greek Island, multiple mansions on Sydney Harbour, a showroom of luxury cars or use the cash to grow $2 million in interest each year in a secure bank account, proving that incredible things can happen from loose change.
$58 million Powerball win – Victoria, 2008
There have been many huge winners in Australian Powerball history, but none quite as lucrative as the June 2008 jackpot that was claimed by an anonymous player from Reservoir, a working class suburb north of Melbourne. The 50 game QuickPick ticket was purchased at the Lakeside Newsagency, with the winner some time to come forward, leaving the entire country speculating over who it could be. At the time of the draw, the jackpot of $58,737,207.41 was the largest prize pool ever in Australian history.
This jackpot has some close contenders for the record win, with 2015 proving to be a big year for Powerball winners. In May of 2015 a Canberra woman won $50 million on a single $5.50 ticket, followed by a Western Australia family who won $50 million in June 2015.
The down to earth family said they were going to use their winnings to do some much needed renovations on their house and pay off their debts before donating a large chunk to charity, determined to remain the same level headed people they were before the life changing win.
$111 million OzLotto record won by four players – 2012
In November 2012 the OzLotto jackpot was at an all-time high – a whopping $111,972,151.04 million. After over eight million tickets were purchased around the country (at a staggering rate of 400,000 tickets every hour) four lucky winners came forward to claim their share of the jackpot, resulting in a prize pool of over $27.9 million each.
The winners included a family from Meadow Heights in Victoria, a family from the ACT and another family from Townsville. The fourth winning ticket belonged to a Victorian syndicate group of 80 members who each claimed a tasty $349,913 for their efforts.
$106 million OzLotto record split by two winners – 2009
At the time, this was the biggest ever record in OzLotto history, only to be superseded by the 2012 jackpot. The June 2009 Tuesday night OzLotto jackpot soared to a crazy $106.5 million with over 10 million tickets sold as players from around Australia rushed to grab their potential piece of the pie. The jackpot was split by two lucky ticket holders, one 40 year old man from Adelaide and an anonymous middle aged couple from the Gold Coast, each claiming a casual $53 million.
The Adelaide winner was a dedicated punter who’d spent over 20 years purchasing lotto tickets, with his luck finally paying off with the purchase of a 14 game Ezi-Pick ticket that he paid a mere $15.05 for at a Queen Elizabeth Hospital cafe. For the Queensland couple, it was the first ever lottery ticket they’d ever purchased for the OzLotto, proving there is such a thing as beginners luck.
If there’s one thing these winning stories tell us, it’s that anyone can win, whether you spent big, spend small, play lotto regularly or have never played before. You may have a higher chance of being killed by a vending machine than winning the lottery, but as these stories go to prove, someone’s got to win and it might as well be you.