From installing solar panels on the roof to paying for strangers’ groceries and pizzas, Aussie division one winners have found novel ways to enjoy their major lottery prizes during the global pandemic.
In 2020, there were 484 division one winning entries held by lottery players across the country that delivered more than $1.24 billion in division one prize money.
With overseas travel temporarily off the table, The Lott’s Annual Winners Report found last year’s division one winners focussed on domestic affairs by using their prizes to help those who mattered the most to them, such as their family, friends and community.
Investing money for the future (59%), paying off the mortgage/buying a new house (57%), and helping family and friends (52%) were the top three plans for division one prizes.
More than half of respondents (52.63%) used their prize to help family and friends, while more than a quarter (27.63%) donated to a charity of their choice.
The majority of winners shared the news of their amazing win with their partner and immediate family. Only 11% told absolutely no one.
Although the COVID-19 outbreak had changed Australians' way of life, The Lott spokesperson Lauren Cooney said it didn’t change how Australians felt about winning a division one lottery prize.
“In fact, 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,” she said.
“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.
“In terms of what winners did with their prizes, last year there was more a focus on investing for the future, helping family and friends, and paying off the mortgage.
“Some winners treated themselves to home renovations, swimming pools and solar panels, while one purchased some long-coveted R.M. Williams’ boots. Not surprisingly, fewer division one winners used their prize for holidays and travel.
“Hearteningly, Aussies are a giving bunch. One generous respondent believed their prize had benefitted up to 150 people, while the average number of beneficiaries for each win was nine. More than a quarter of respondents (27%) shared their windfall with more than ten people.
“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.”
Ms Cooney said division one winners also shared their tips for future division one winners.
“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,” she said.
The home of Australia’s Official Lotteries, The Lott operates and markets Australia’s leading lottery games customers know and love creating everyday winners, winning every day.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2021, Australians took home more than 123.7 million prizes worth more than $3.62 billion from their favourite games at 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.