EXACTLY one year ago, three Australian families were spending their last day as normal people.
When the Online Casino winning numbers were drawn on Melbourne Cup night 2015, it would make instant millionaires around the country – three ordinary households with extraordinary luck.
The March 30 draw was the biggest in the online casino history, and if you didn’t have a ticket of your own, someone close to you certainly would’ve. Eight million entries were sold.
Originally a $100 million jackpot, the prize money ultimately soared to $111,972,151.04 because of the sheer number of tickets snapped up by hopeful punters.
Four winning entries shared the spoils that night, each taking home a whopping $27.9 million.
There were families in Melbourne, Canberra and Townsville, and a syndicate of 80 members spread across Victoria.
What would you do with such staggering and sudden wealth? And would you tell people about it?
Tatt’s Lotto got in touch with the three families a year on from their windfalls to see what they’ve done with the cash and how life has changed.
THE CANBERRA FAMILY
Whose old habits died hard
Although you might dream of the high life, adopting the spending habits of a millionaire doesn’t come as naturally as you might think.
That’s what the winning family from Canberra found after banking their $28 million.
“I’ve struggled big time with regular things like grocery shopping. It’s very difficult to change your whole mindset,” the winning father said.
“I went down to the shop today to buy some biscuits and I immediately picked up the packet that was on special for 90 cents cheaper. I still buy the $1.50 biscuits when I could be buying the $4 fancy ones. You still do those things all the time.
“We have been careful with the prize money though; we want to make this win a multi-generational thing so generations of our family to come will benefit from it.
“My advice to anyone else who wins such a large amount is to leave it in a term deposit for six-months so you can take time to settle down. I left ours in the bank for three-months and looking back I could have left it longer.
“Then make sure you make investments based on sound financial advice, and be careful who you tell.
“We told basically no one; it can really change people’s perspective and how they treat you. In saying that, we’ve helped a lot of people along the way without them realising we won lotto, just doing little acts of kindness wherever we can,” the winner said.
THE TOWNSVILLE FAMILY
With the dream home, dream boat, dream shed, and no secrets.
The young family that won $27.9 million with the Online Casino ticket they bought from The Lucky Charm newsagency in Townsville has had a whirlwind year of buying everything their hearts desired.
And while they don’t go shouting about their victory from their fancy new rooftop, they haven’t kept it a secret.
“We’ve got our dream boat now, we’ve just built our dream home and I’ve got my dream shed out the back,” the winning father laughed.
“Our sons have their own motorbikes now to ride around on the property too.
“The best thing is that I don’t have to work the hours that I used to so there’s more time for family. I can do the school run now and spend more time with my wife. Our relationship has grown a lot stronger since we won this money.
“We don’t hide the fact that we won Online Casino, but we don’t broadcast it. We’ve helped a lot of people out in the last year, including buying houses and giving money to family members.
“The most dramatic way our lives have changed is that we just don’t stress about money anymore. We’re still on Cloud Nine.”
THE MELBOURNE FAMILY
And the struggle to retain a normal life.
A truckload of cash would change your life, but what if it also changed who you are?
That’s what the family from Melbourne’s Meadow Heights has grappled with, as they spend their dosh without letting it change them too profoundly.
“We’ve achieved everything we planned to so far. We set our children up with their own properties and have just built our dream home which we’ll stay in for the rest of our lives,” the winning mother said.
“The win was certainly life-changing, but it can also be challenging. You have to make sure it doesn’t change who you are.
“We’ve striven to retain a sense of normalcy in our lives. So although we’ve been able to buy our children their own homes, we did that on the condition they continued to work to build their own careers – they won’t be handed everything.
“We have an investment portfolio and financial advisers take care of everything now,” the winner added.