- Lotto warning: 'Friends, family, money can disappear quick'
The Canberra family who have just won almost $28 million have two weeks to absorb the news before collecting their quarter share of last night’s $111 million Oz Lotto jackpot.
Oz Lotto spokeswoman, Zoe Knobel, said the family would be encouraged to use the two weeks to seek professional financial help before travelling to Sydney to collect their enormous prize from the lottery headquarters.
There they will be invited into a plush ‘Winner’s Lounge’, where they’ll need to complete quite a lot of paperwork to claim their prize.
The winners won’t be offered champagne to drink in the lounge, but they will be offered a bottle to take home.
While Ms Knobel said there wouldn’t quite be ‘‘a marching band or balloon’’, but there would be a distinct ‘‘winners’ experience’’ – not to mention a giant novelty cheque to take home.
‘‘They’ll get to enjoy the experience, and they can take the opportunity to ask someone to pinch them to make sure it’s really happened,’’ Ms Knobel said.
Only the lucky few Australians who’ve won big themselves could probably understand what the two-week cooling off period will feel like for the four major prize winners.
Ms Knobel said it was important time to plan for the enormous opportunities awaiting them.
‘‘It’s a really good time to sit back, let the news sink back and plan for your future. We recommend all of the winners, regardless of the size of the prize, that they do seek financial advice about how they can use that advantage to potentially invest for the future.
‘‘We like to see it not just change someone’s life, but set them up for life."
The husband of the Canberra family, whose identity has not been released, told Ms Knobel when she rang last night that they had never won anything substantial before, but had always come ‘‘this close’’.
None of the individual prize winners contacted last night had won on the Melbourne Cup earlier yesterday, although with one of the four major prize winners being an 80-person syndicate from Victoria, that doubling up of winning luck seems likely.
Ms Knobel said it might never happen again that such a huge jackpot went off on Australia’s biggest day for gambling.
‘‘It was an absolute coincidence to have them both happen on the same day. Our draw is always on a Tuesday, but we can’t predict when it will jackpot. It went up for nine weeks without anyone picking the seven numbers.’’