A FARMER from Mareeba in his 50s was hard at work out in the paddock this morning, completely unaware that Golden Casket was ringing his phone off the hook, as they tried to contact him to break the news he'd won $15 million in Oz Lotto!
When the man came in for his lunch break, he finally picked up the phone and received the life-changing news that he'd become a multi-millionaire overnight.
"Are you serious? Jesus! I'm shocked actually, I just can't believe it. I never thought this would happen to me," he said through tears of joy.
"My wife's patting me on the back trying to calm me down.
"Sorry I've been out this morning working in the paddock - there's always something to do on the farm.
"When I heard there was a winner in Mareeba, I was going to go check my ticket but I thought nah it's impossible that it's me. I'd never win!" he laughed.
The hard-working farmer had some ideas on how he would kick off spending his $15 million windfall.
"I'll be able help my kids and my family and buy a house for starters!" he exclaimed.
"We might go for a little cruise on holiday or something like that!
"I really get into my cars too, so now I can buy the ute I always dreamt of.
"I'm a hard worker so I won't retire because you got to keep doing something otherwise you go mad!"
The winner's wife was in total disbelief when she initially picked up the phone.
"It's not the Lotto is it? No, can't be! They would have come here to tell us!" she exclaimed.
The happy man, who wishes to remain anonymous, purchased his 12-game QuickPick from Piagno's News, 142 Byrnes Street in Mareeba.
It's the sixth division one winning ticket sold at Piagno's News following a $187,020 Gold Lotto win in July 2003, a $1.2 million Gold Lotto win in July 2006, a $1 million Gold Lotto Superdraw win in July 2010 and two wins within the same week in February 2011; a $5 million Oz Lotto and a $722,988 Gold Lotto win.
In July 2010, a group of six mates from Mareeba won more than $1 million in the Gold Lotto Superdraw on a one-off private syndicate which saw them each pocket $169,364.27.
In February 2011, a $5 million Oz Lotto prize was won by a local Mareeba couple who intended to buy a Wednesday Gold Lotto entry, but accidently purchased an entry in Oz Lotto instead - a mistake which made them multi-millionaires.
Then after winning in the very same week, it took three weeks for a grandmother to walk into Piagno's News to discover she'd been walking around with a $723,000 Gold Lotto ticket in her purse.
Kirrily and Sheldon Mulla have been the owners of Piagno's News for the past seven years and said the town of Mareeba is in a Lotto frenzy.
"The balloons are out and it's been absolutely non-stop this morning with people checking to see if they are our multi-millionaire," Mrs Mulla exclaimed.
"It's very exciting! It's a big deal for Mareeba, we're just a tiny little town so everyone is so excited!
"I got tears of joy running down my face right now and I didn't even win it! My customers must think I'm pathetic but I'm just so excited and happy for our winning customer! I'm just so happy we sold it.
"This makes the store's sixth division one winner and the third division one winning ticket we've sold since we've been the owners, and it's certainly our biggest ever prize!
"We've sold two division one prizes within a week of each other before - We sold a $5 million winning Oz Lotto ticket on the Tuesday and come the Saturday we had a Gold Lotto winner to join them. So who knows, our next win might be just around the corner!"
Throughout Australia, there were two entries that won a first division share of Oz Lotto's $30 million jackpot in draw 1199 on Tuesday 7 February 2017, each worth $15,000,000. Along with the winning entry from Mareeba, Queensland, the other winning ticket was sold in Carlisle in Western Australia.
In addition to the division one winners, two other Queensland players won division two prizes worth more than $38,000 each with tickets purchased in Booval and the Brisbane CBD.
The winning numbers in Oz Lotto's $30 million draw 1199 on Tuesday 7 February 2017 were 20, 32, 4, 8, 29, 37 and 40. The supplementary numbers were 7 and 17.
After five weeks of jackpotting the Oz Lotto prize reached $30 million for last night's draw and will offer a $2 million division one prize next Tuesday.
Last night's winners take the Lott's division one tally to 249 so far this financial year, including 57 won by Golden Casket customers.
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