'I'll probably have a beer to celebrate': winners toast $27.9m lottery windfall

Oz Lotto winner loses cup bet

A man who won $350,000 in an Oz Lotto syndicate says he will bet again on Oaks Day.

Last night's lotto winners plan to pay off the mortgage, take an overseas trip and help family members — but not before having a few stiff drinks.

There were four winning entries, with the numbers 29, 43, 8, 7, 15, 2, 13 and supplementaries 21 and 20, in the Oz Lotto draw, which boosted to nearly $112 million after a record number of tickets were sold.

Each division one winner, two from Victoria, one from the ACT and another from Queensland, won $27,993,037.76, a statement from Tatts Lotteries said.

A mother from Meadow Heights, Victoria, who answered the call from lottery officials, couldn't quite believe the news.

"Are you serious?" she said.

"If I accidentally hang up, call me back please.

"Oh my god. I can't believe it. We'll be able to set our children up with properties and finally go on the overseas trip I've been hoping for to visit friends of mine.

"I don't drink often but I'll be popping a bottle of champagne now."

The other winning ticket in Victoria belonged to a syndicate of 80, who will get $349,913 each, plus extra cash from divisions two to seven.

One of the syndicate’s lucky entrants said he was still at work today.

‘‘I don’t think I’ve come back down to earth,’’ the man, known only as Phillip, said.

Phillip bought a share in the anonymous syndicate at a newsagency in Collins Street, in Melbourne’s CBD, three weeks after first entering when the jackpot was $35 million.

He and his daughter have shared the entry and their winnings - about $350,000 - will be shared with the rest of the family.

‘‘When we checked the ticket last night just before going to bed, we could hardly believe it when we got to the seventh number and they were all on the ticket. It was quite extraordinary,’’ he told radio station 3AW.

‘‘[I] went in to renew the Saturday night ticket and the jackpot caught my eye and the system 17 jackpot caught my eye.

‘‘I love a punt in other forms and I thought ‘oh, that’s worth a crack’ and we came back as the jackpot went up and it’s paid dividends, very handsomely.’’

But Phillip’s winning luck didn’t spread to the races - he lost money on the Melbourne Cup.

‘‘Wasn’t even close there,’’ he said.

Phillip said he plans to enter again and would allow himself a punt on Oaks Day tomorrow.

‘‘I’ve got a little bit of play money. It will be very modest,’’ he said.

The lotto winnings will pay off some debt, be added to super and ‘‘help out one or two people close to me that need a bit of a helping hand’’.

The father of an ACT family, who bought a ticket while on holidays in NSW, thought relatives were playing a prank on him when he got a call from a NSW Lotteries official.

"I've come close to winning a division one prize before, but not quite close enough," he said.

"First of all we'll pay off our mortgage then we'll settle the kids' mortgages. There are some other relatives we'd like to take care of too — they've been good to us.

"I'll probably have a beer to celebrate.

"Tell you what, I'm glad I answered your phone call tonight."

Lottery officials have so far been unable to contact the Queensland winner, who was unregistered.

More than eight million tickets were sold, with 400,000 selling every hour at peak sales times.

The Oz Lotto jackpot next week is $2 million.

smh.com.au, with Adrian Lowe

This article 'I'll probably have a beer to celebrate': winners toast $27.9m lottery windfall was originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald.