The woman, from the Shire of Moorabool in the western part of the state, won first prize in the Set for Life game in 2016.
It meant she pocketed $20,000 every month for 20 years – equating to $4.8 million in total winnings.
Speaking to officials from Australia’s official lottery provider, the Lott, the woman, identified only as Annie, said she was “lucky beyond belief”.
She described herself as a “battler” but explained the win allowed her to work on her own terms and help her family, and that sharing her good fortune with her loved ones had brought her joy.
“When I got the phone call, I was with my mother and it was just absolute elation that we were able to share that life-changing news together,” she said.
“We then gathered our very closest family and friends together and we asked them to all meet us for dinner. Thankfully, they were able to come at short notice and be there with us.
“There was so much love in the room. We had always been battlers and our family and friends were just really genuinely happy for us.”
Annie said the cash had changed her lifestyle.
“I used to work 60-odd hours a week, and not because I loved my job so much, but because I didn’t have a choice. My husband also worked full time, and now life has changed a lot for us, in a lot of ways,” she said.
“I got a passport – that’s exciting – and I’ve used it.
“I’ve managed to take some family members on holidays that I would never have been able to do before and I have helped some people that needed a little bit of help.
“I think just being able to help other people a little bit and show them things that they wouldn’t have been able to see, as well as being able to see those wonderful things myself, has made me very happy.”
She said she was also able to donate monthly to a range of causes close to her heart, including the Guide Dogs and Make-a-Wish foundation, and that she was grateful “every day”.
“It really has allowed me to do the things I always wanted to do for myself and do for others. They are no longer dreams, they are now things that I can make a reality,” she said.
But while many Aussies fantasise about quitting our jobs after a lotto win, Annie and her husband both still work – after taking a well-deserved break.
“When we first won we took a year off from work and we enjoyed some amazing time together, lived in some amazing, hot tropical situations,” she said.
“Then we were back to reality. My husband has gone back to work full time just because of the industry he’s in, but I have been lucky enough to go back to work part-time and on terms that suit me, which is great.
“I was able to change completely from the career I had and didn’t need to work the hours I once did. I was very lucky to be able to do that and I’m lucky to have the choice.
“It’s all about choice. Choices I never thought I would be able to have.”
And while Set for Life differs from other lump-sum games, Annie said it suited her family’s needs.
“I am so grateful it’s paid on a monthly basis because we have the time to consider how best to spend the money and how best to invest it,” she said.
“This makes sure we don’t just live a wonderful life now, but we get to live a wonderful life for a long time and that we have a nest egg for our children. So I do think being paid monthly is a great way to be paid.”
She said the $20,000 entered her account on the 15th of each month, which was now a celebration day for her family.
“The 15th of every month is an exciting day in our household. It’s the day I will generally go out and spend money that I wouldn’t normally spend,” she said.
“It’s just a little something, a new pair of shoes, a new shirt, a new jumper, just something to spoil myself. I try to celebrate with that little something for myself or someone else.”
While Annie’s win is envy-inducing, Australia’s current lottery record holder is a Sydney woman who scored a $107.5 million Powerball prize in January last year.
The healthcare provider, who wished to remain anonymous, said she would keep working and that she also planned to share her winnings with her family, give “a whole slab of money” to her favourite charity, and perhaps even “buy a caravan and travel around”.
“I’m so passionate about my job. It will drive me to do more health work for causes important to me,” she told The Lott at the time.
“I’m not quite sure what to do but of course I will be helping my family.”
Second place was taken out by a Sydney father from Chatswood who scored more than $96 million in August 2019.
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