A self-described Aussie battler went from working 60-hour weeks and never owning a passport to taking a year off to enjoy life and being able to travel with her loved ones overnight.
“It’s all about choice. Choices I never thought I would be able to have.” the Victorian mother said.
Three years after winning first prize in Lotto’s Set For Life, Annie – whose name has been changed for privacy reasons – shared how the monthly $20,000 prize for 20 years has changed her life.
“I used to work 60-odd hours a week and not because I loved my job so much, but because I didn’t have a choice. My husband also worked full time, and now life has changed a lot for us, in a lot of ways,” she explained.
Annie said she only shared the good news with her closest friends and family.
“We had always been battlers and our family and friends were just really genuinely happy for us,” she said.
Annie told The Lott the first year she won she decided to celebrate with a gap year and enjoy life with her husband, now that she finally had a passport and was able to use it.
“When we first won we took a year off from work and we enjoyed some amazing time together, lived in some amazing, hot tropical situations,” she shared.
The generous winner also took the opportunity to share her fortune with her loved ones.
“I’ve managed to take some family members on holidays that I would never have been able to do before and I have helped some people that needed a little bit of help,” she said.
Back to reality
A year after the win, Annie decided to return to work but on her terms, she changed careers and no longer needed to work extensive hours just to keep afloat.
“I have been lucky enough to go back to work part-time and on terms that suit me, which is great,” she said.
While her husband returned to work full time, they still make time each month to celebrate the 15th of each month, which is when the monthly prize of $20,000 arrives.
“It’s the day I will generally go out and spend money that I wouldn’t normally spend,” she laughed.
“It’s just a little something, a new pair of shoes, a new shirt, a new jumper, just something to spoil myself. I try to celebrate with that little something for myself or someone else,” she added.
Annie said one of the best parts about being set for life is being able to share it with those she loves.
“I think just being able to help other people a little bit and show them things that they wouldn’t have been able to see, as well as being able to see those wonderful things myself, has made me very happy,”
Annie also makes monthly donations to causes close to her heart.
“Guide Dogs, Make-a-Wish, there are a couple of them. And that’s really important for me as a person,” she explained.
Annie said she was now living her life instead of dreaming about it and she would be forever grateful.
“It really has allowed me to do the things I always wanted to do for myself and do for others. They are no longer dreams, they are now things that I can make a reality and that makes me grateful. Every day I am grateful for what I have,” she said.
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