One lucky lottery player in Melbourne went about their business for 12 hours without knowing they had landed a mind-boggling £42.5 million win.
The anonymous winner had bought their ticket for the Powerball draw as normal, but as so often happens for many of us simply became too busy to watch the numbers called on Thursday.
And so he continued as normal, heading off to work as a cleaner without realising he had scooped the $80 million AUD prize – the third biggest win in Australian lottery history.
It took more than 12 hours for him to check his ticket, and in the meantime a huge manhunt unfolded as lotto officials struggled to track down their winner.
The individual has purchased their ticket online, but had forgotten to fill in their contact details – leaving officials with no means to contact him. And so it was all down to the winner, who would have had a full 12 months to claim his spoils before forfeiting his prize.
Happily, it only took 12 hours for the penny to drop for the man, who lost his job during one of the Covid lockdowns and was forced to take on a cleaning job to make ends meet, to take a look at the winning numbers.
“I lost my job during one of the many lockdowns here in Melbourne. We had only just bought a home and didn’t see it coming,” he confirmed. “Like for so many people, these lockdowns have been really tough for our family.
“But I’ve always said, you’ve just got to keep trying. Now, look what’s happened!”
The happy chappy has confirmed that he will be paying off his mortgage and other expenses, before ‘setting up the kids for life.’
What is the Biggest Lottery Win in History?
With a handful of rollovers, Thursday’s Powerball jackpot his a whopping $80 million Australian Dollars, with an estimated one-in-four Aussies buying a ticket.
Any notion of that being amongst the biggest lottery wins in history can easily be kicked to the kerb, with some mammoth triumphs worldwide dwarfing that of the humble chap from Melbourne.
Spain’s Christmas Lottery draw is routinely considered one of the most lucrative on the planet, and in 2012 it served up a jackpot prize of €720 million – that’s around £612 million – in an extraordinary coup for the winner. That was taken from a total prize pool of some €2.5 billion.
Meanwhile, the Powerball in the USA is also no stranger to creating huge cash prizes, and in January 2016 that draw became the most lucrative in American lottery history – paying out a total kitty of $983.5 million to three very lucky winners, who trousered $327.8 million each (around £236 million).
As far as Europe is concerned, aside from Spain’s Christmas draw it is the EuroMillions that captures most of the headlines for big wins. The highest payout from this draw was the handy £148.7 million that was pocketed by one Brit in August 2012, although due to the machinations of the exchange rate there was technically a bigger winner than that – one Portuguese ticket-holder walking away with £149.8 million in October 2014.