Hitting the Jackpot: What Does It Feel Like to Win Australia’s Lotterywest Prize?

By Trisha Andrada

Jan 25, 2024 12:19 PM EST

Lotto is an intriguing game that plays with your luck and chance. While many see it as merely a hobby, for certain individuals, it may have deeper significance. Just imagine for a second that the digits you've been keeping for years really come out on top. How are you going to spend the prize? You must be curious.

James Mooney, the spokesperson of the Lotterywest's Subiaco headquarters, a lottery company in Western Australia, told PerthNow what happens behind the scenes when lucky winners claim the most unlikely of wins.

(Photo : Alejandro Garay on Unsplash)

Got the Winning Ticket?

Suppose a registered ticket holder wins more than $500 in a single draw. In that case, a representative from Lotto headquarters will typically contact them and urge them to "check the numbers," which is a sneaky way of saying they could be holding a winning ticket.

Mooney said that players often arrive at the office uncertain and trying to find any possible reason to think: "This can't be."

When asked what the entrance to Lotterywest headquarters appears, Mooney described it as "a pretty-looking office, but at the same time, it's your regular office with a concierge." He stressed the need for the winners not to draw attention to themselves, so definitely no fireworks or confetti.

Potential winners have their tickets scanned for preliminary validation. If everything checks out, a member of their customer service team will lead them to the Winner's Room for final confirmation.

Mooney said the space isn't very flashy, but the lighting is subtle and muted all the time. He added that the sofas are so soft that people often feel floating on air while sitting on them. No matter what, you'll probably experience the same thing if you win the lottery.

As the reality of their victory starts to set in, the lucky winners get a sight of a mural on the wall that chronicles the history of Lotto. In this very spot, Mooney has his faith in mankind renewed; after all, the people of Western Australia are, supposedly, a modest lot who put their family first.

Once the ticket's authenticity is verified, staff will confirm they're holding the life-altering prize ticket.

Mooney said many gamers ultimately realize that "this is happening" after 10 to 15 minutes of ID verification or bank transfer.

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Encounter With Winners

Mooney or another representative from the media will meet the winners before they go, a process that he acknowledged may be a little intimidating. They're scared that it will be like foreign or American lotteries when participants are photographed in front of a large group of people, and their identities are made public.

When Mooney talks to them, all he wants to know is a little bit about their plans for it or if there is a cool narrative behind the victory that might get more people to participate.

A man's bizarre desire to purchase a "top-of-the-line, really nice steak for [his] dog, just a treat" was the most unusual of all the winning entries. The first thing that usually comes to mind is going on a caravan holiday throughout Australia, paying off a mortgage, or helping out loved ones.

In order to keep everything under wraps, the winners are sent home with a discreet hamper that contains a keepsake and information on financial planning or resources that they may independently find. Mooney said that Lotterywest wants to make sure that winning the life-changing prize stays a private, pleasant, and personal event.

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