Aussie division one lottery winners have revealed the creative ways they spent their massive lottery prizes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020, there were 484 division one winning entries held by lottery players across the country who took home more than $1.24 billion in prize money.
According to The Lott’s Annual Winners Report 2021, lottery winners found creative ways to spend their windfalls during the pandemic, including installing solar panels, paying for strangers’ groceries and pizzas and more.
The Lott spokesperson Lauren Cooney said that for many Aussies, winning the lottery gave them a much-needed beacon of hope during difficult times.
“Many major prize winners described how this once-in-a-lifetime experience provided a beacon of positivity and unconditional hope to them and their loved ones during uncertain times,” said Ms Cooney.
With overseas travel temporarily off the table, the report found that last year’s Lotto winners focused their attention closer to home by using their jackpots to help their family, friends and community.
“In terms of what winners did with their prizes, last year there was more of a focus on investing for the future, helping family and friends, and paying off the mortgage,” she said.
More than half of the lucky winners used their prize to help family and friends, while over a quarter donated their prize to their favourite charity.
“However, winners confessed they had to find creative ways to indulge and celebrate their life-changing win all without leaving the house.
"Some respondents revealed they celebrated with a cup of tea, while others admitted they enjoyed a simple takeaway meal.”
Some winners were more careful with their winnings, spending them on home renovations, swimming pools and solar panels, while others treated themselves to the R.M. Williams boots they had been eyeing.
Unsurprisingly, fewer lottery winners used their jackpot for holidays and travel last year, but those who did ventured to domestic destinations such as Hamilton Island and Tasmania.
When it came to sharing the life-changing news with loved ones, a majority of winners told their partner and immediate family, while 11 per cent didn’t tell a soul.
Aussie Lotto winners ‘pay it forward’
Despite living in difficult times, Aussies used their lottery prizes to pay it forward and share their windfall with several people in some cases.
“One generous respondent believed their prize had benefitted up to 150 people, while the average number of beneficiaries for each win was nine,” explained Ms Cooney.
More than a quarter of winners shared their windfall with more than ten people, while others enjoyed the anonymity of paying for strangers’ purchases.
Ms Cooney said: “A number of division one winners told us they enjoyed their win by paying it forward – anonymously paying for other shoppers’ groceries, paying off strangers’ accounts at their local stockfeed store, and covering other people’s purchases at pizza shops and bakeries.”
One Lotto winner even admitted to placing $10,000 in cash in an empty chocolate box and giving it to their cousin for his 60th birthday.
Lottery winners offer advice for future division one winners
Meanwhile, lottery winners offered some advice for future division one winners to help them enjoy their prize.
“Across all the division one winners, there’s three universal pieces of advice: take a moment after the win to plan, share the winning feeling with your nearest and dearest, and find the balance between enjoying yourself and making the best use of the prize,” said Ms Cooney.
Some additional tips for when you win the lottery include being patient, seeking out advice on how to invest your money, taking out a short-term investment of your winnings, creating a circle of trust, and treating yourself – enjoy the win, without being too lavish.
“If you are lucky enough to win a considerable amount of money, always remember that your luck can be shared with others. Be happy, do what you want and need to do, but also be kind to others,” said one responded in the report.
While another said: “Wait until telling people and spend very quietly over the first few months. Do not buy just for the sake of buying!”
“Look after yourself and family first. Don’t go crazy as it might only happen once,” said a third winner.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2021, Australians took home more than 123.7 million prizes worth more than $3.62 billion from products offered by The Lott, including Saturday Lotto, Monday & Wednesday Lotto, Powerball, Oz Lotto, Set for Life, Lucky Lotteries, Keno, Super 66, Lotto Strike and Instant Scratch-Its.
Last financial year, Australia’s Official Lotteries contributed more than $1.5 billion via state lottery taxes and donations to help community initiatives, such as hospitals, health research, disaster relief and education.
If gambling is a problem for you go to Gambling Help Online or call 1800 858 858.
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