Past Lotto Winners Describe Winning Moments

Last week was historic one for the Australian Powerball lottery. Three tickets were linked to the record-setting $150 million jackpot.

As everyone in Australia anticipated that moment, The Lott revealed the results of a survey of 100 past lottery winners. It gave insight into their celebrations, first thoughts, and initial actions when they received the money.

Survey Inspiration

As the record Powerball grew on its way to $150 million, many knew that it already set a record before it maxed out.

It was a perfect time for The Lott to release the results of its survey of more than 100 Australian lottery division one winners. The life-changing money had an impact on each of them. The Lott simply wanted those stories shared to inspire.

The Lott spokesperson Ally Ramsamy noted that up to half of all adult Aussies were expected to have a ticket before that big jackpot drawing. “Each year, we crown about 400 division one winners across our lottery games,” she said.

And if the Powerball numbers continue to grow, that number of division one winners will grow, as will the amounts of their lottery distributions.

Initial Reactions

It seems that most division one winners are surprised, as they didn’t know they won the jackpot until a representative from The Lott contacted them with the news.

Their responses varied from disbelief to immediate celebration. Some of the responses included feelings of numbness and disbelief, tears and even worrying that it was a mistake, that someone would call and take the winnings back.

The survey showed that the initial reactions then led to interesting next moves, ranging from booking an impromptu trip to Bali to popping bottles of champagne.

  • 72% shared winning news with partner and immediate family
  • 27% also included close friends
  • 8% told no one

First Actions

Winners took a variety of initial actions, ranging from getting a haircut and buying new shoes to buying real estate.

Primarily, winners tended to do things that they had always dreamed of doing but never had the funds. As with so many people, they gave thought to what they would do if they could afford it, such as buy a house, pay off bills, or buy an engagement ring.

Mostly, winners said that the jackpots gave the winners a sense of financial freedom of which they had only dreamed, a peace of mind that they had not yet known in life. The weight of debts – whether a mortgage or credit card balances – can be overwhelming, and the desire to rid oneself of those debts quickly is a common initial reaction.

Many of them also felt happy to finally be able to help family and friends that also had money woes.

The survey showed an overlap on many of the responses from winners as to what they did with their money, as quite a few did more than one thing. These were the top results:

  • 4% invested money
  • 1% helped family and friends
  • 1% paid off mortgage
  • 7% bought new car
  • 5% donated to charity
  • 4% bought new house
  • 4% took a holiday/vacation
  • 3% retired from work
  • 2% paid off mortgages for family or friends
  • 2% changed jobs or reduced work to part-time
  • 1% started new business

Advice for New Millionaires

There is no shortage of stories from around the world about people who overspend or misspend when they win jackpots.

Previous Aussie winners surveyed had some advice for new winners. According to Ramsamy from The Lott, “Some winners advise you to put the prize in a term deposit while you make plans, while others encourage you to seize the day and make some of those long-held dreams a reality. Some major prize winners have even gone away for a mini-break after discovering their multi-million-dollar win, saying it helped to give them perspective on what they wanted their future life to look like.”

There is no shortage of advice when it comes to lottery winnings, but there are some tips that nearly every financially-savvy person would give.

Before quitting a job that has long-term benefits, speak with a financial advisor as to how to make the lotto winnings last. After initial purchases, such as a home and cars, there may not be enough left to live on forever.

In general, it is good advice to speak with a financial advisor and possibly an attorney before making any large purchases or rash decisions. They can ensure that charitable donations and gifts to friends are done in a way that makes the most tax sense. They will also help with changing wills and putting legal documents in order, especially if there are children or others that the money can help in the long term.

Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.

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