Powerball winner reveals tough call after $107 million win

·News Reporter
·4-min read

Everyone daydreams about winning the lottery.

But have you ever thought about how your friends and family would react if you actually won the multimillion-dollar lottery prize?

With tonight’s $60 million Powerball draw fast approaching, one lucky player might be breaking the life-changing news to their loved ones sooner than they ever dreamed.

Australia’s biggest lottery winner, a Sydney mum and nurse, who took a $107 million Powerball prize in January 2019 has shared her experience in the hope of helping future winners. 

She said she was overwhelmed by the reactions of her family and friends when she shared the news, and revealed it was a tough choice to decided whether or not to tell her boss.

Powerball ticket held up in kitchen.
One lucky Powerball player may soon be forced to decide how they will tell their family members about their good news. Source: The Lott

“There’s only a handful of people who know the full truth,” she told an official from The Lott recently.

“Honestly, everyone I told broke down in tears, happy tears,” the record-breaking winner said.

“I don’t think one person didn’t have a little cry. They were all genuinely so happy and excited for me!” 

The Sydney woman let the news sink in before deciding who she could trust with the news.

She said her inner circle were thrilled to be in on the secret and helped to guide her in the right direction.

“I have a small group of very loyal friends, and you just don’t know how people will react, but I haven’t had any negative responses,” she said.

Powerball tickets at a newsagency.
Winning the lottery hasn't worked out well for some people. Source: Getty Images

A lotto trouble for past winners 

However tempting it may be to tell the world about your lottery win, many past Powerball winners who chose to reveal their identities have come to regret the decision.

Some winners, like the infamous “unluckiest lottery winner” Jack Whittaker whose win led to personal loss and tragedy, have even gone so far to say it ruined their lives and they wish they had ripped up the winning ticket. 

"I wish I would have torn the ticket up," Jack Whittacker’s wife Jewell told a Charleston newspaper reporter. 

Ms Whittaker blamed the Powerball jackpot for destroying her family following the disappearance of her granddaughter and the deterioration of her marriage to Jack.

To tell or not to tell... your boss?

Luckily, like many lottery winners in Australia, the Sydney nurse has chosen to remain anonymous and only revealed the news to her trusted circle, including her boss.

She said it was a hard choice for her to make when it came to her boss, but she eventually decided to reveal the win.

“I do have a wonderful work environment and when I told my boss she just grabbed me and gave me the biggest hug,” she laughed.

“She [was] so thrilled, but it was hard for me to tell her initially because you just don’t know how it’s going to go.

“She was more worried about if I was going to quit my job, but I told her I needed to keep working. 

“Nursing is something that is in my DNA. I can’t not do it!”

Powerball ticket held up in front of new car.
How to spend your winnings is not the only thing winners need to think about. Source: The Lott

Does winning the lottery cost too much?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Money often costs too much”, which seems to be true for many past lottery winners, but not for this Sydney nurse.

The nurse said despite taking home the life-changing lottery prize, she hadn’t allowed the money to change her. 

“No one has told me that I’ve changed or anything like that," she said.

"And I haven’t changed, it doesn’t matter how much money I have, people need me to be me and that’s really important."

Thursday's Powerball draw 1311 closes at 7.30pm AEST.

Tickets can be purchased at any licensed lottery outlet, online from The Lott or via The Lott mobile app.

If gambling is a problem for you go to Gambling Help Online or call 1800 858 858.

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