Two mates from Shellharbour have come forward as the mystery million-dollar winner in Monday night’s Lotto draw – after one of them read about the windfall in the Mercury.
The pair of blokes, who have chosen to remain anonymous, not only took home the division-one prize of $1 million but also won division three 12 times and division four 15 times – taking their total winnings to $1,004,366.20.
Speaking with a NSW Lotteries official on Wednesday morning to confirm the win, the syndicate leader said he initially thought they’d won just a few thousand dollars.
“I’ve been playing a system-8 entry for about 20 years with a friend of mine, so he’ll get half, and I always check the numbers,” he said.
“I was reading the paper and saw that no one had come forward and their contact details were out of date. I thought to myself, I registered years ago with my home number which I don’t have any more so I thought it could be me and I checked my ticket.
“I saw that I had a few of the numbers so originally I thought I’d only won division three and four.
“I checked my ticket at the newsagent and saw that I had all the numbers so knew it had to be it – I’m pretty excited”
The syndicate leader planned to put his half of the windfall to good use.
“I’ll definitely pay off our home loan, and hopefully get a nice car and maybe a holiday. It will help a lot actually – it will be very, very good,” he said.
“It’s a bit overwhelming at the moment, hard to believe it’s really happened.”
The winner said he couldn’t wait to break the exciting news to his mate.
“My friend is away on holidays at the moment and I text him to let him know I thought we’d won about $4000 in divisional prizes,” he said.
“He’ll be really happy when I call him to let him know instead of $2000 it’s half a million.”
The regular players bought their winning entry from the Shellharbour Newsagency, on Addison Street.
Newsagency owner Thi Nguyen was thrilled to have sold a winning division-one entry – and staff at the store all smiles on Wednesday morning.
NSW Lotteries issued a plea on Tuesday to track down the mystery winner (now winners) after it was revealed the entry was registered to a Players Club Card that had incomplete contact details.
The lack of up to date information meant officials had no way of contacting them to confirm the win.
The winning numbers in Monday night’s draw were 26, 7, 12, 17, 29 and 36, with supplementary numbers of 6 and 31.