A Nelson Bay man is feeling especially merry and bright this week after discovering an Instant Scratch-Its ticket he was given for Christmas two years ago held a $100,000 prize. 

The top prize winning $5 Warm Wishes Instant Scratch-Its ticket was found languishing in an old gift bag in the linen closet.

The ticket was originally purchased at Nelson Bay Newsagency, 87 Magnus Street, Nelson Bay. 

The New South Wales man explained why it took him so long to uncover his top prize win. 

“We’ve got lots of kids in the family, so for the past few nights, we’ve been wrapping Christmas presents,” he explained. 

“We’d run out of the good wrapping paper, and so my wife went into the cupboard and dug out old gift bags to use. 

“This ticket was face down in the bottom of this one gift bag, so we had no idea we even had it until then. 

“The next morning, we were having breakfast, and my wife decided she’d scratch it while eating. 

“She screamed, ‘Oh my god, no way! We’ve won $100,000!’. I instantly looked at her and said, ‘No, get off it. That can’t be right!’. 

“But sure enough, it was $100,000! It’s incredible.

 “We can’t believe it’s been sitting in our linen closest for two years! We’ve walked past that closet so many times, and we’ve cleaned it and had no idea there was $100,000 in it this whole time.

“We called all of our family members to share the news with them and try and find out who gave us this ticket. 

“We have no idea who gifted it to us, so we can’t thank them, sadly. 

"But we’ve decided we’re going to buy a bunch of Instant Scratch-Its tickets and pop them into Christmas cards and give them to everyone. Hopefully, they have a big win, too." 

The jolly winner declared his family was going to have a cracking Christmas thanks to his top prize win. 

“We are going to get some aircon in the house first. Hopefully, it’ll be done in time for Christmas. It’s certainly going to make for a fantastic festive season,” he shared. 

“We could get a new car, maybe go on a holiday, who knows. We’re still trying to get our heads around it. 

“We celebrated last night with some Canadian Club and champagne flutes! It’s fantastic.” 

Nelson Bay Newsagency owner Gary Ramponi said he was thrilled to have made one of his customers $100,000 richer. 

“It's incredible! That’s one of the best winning story I’ve ever heard,” he said. 

“You hear of people discovering wins years later, but it's crazy it’s happened to one of our winners. 

“This is fantastic news! We are so happy the winning man has now claimed his prize. 

“Just yesterday a customer asked us what was the highest Instant Scratch-Its win we've had, and I said $1,000! I’ll be glad to tell them it’s now $100,000. 

“I’ve owned this outlet for 11 years and the biggest winning ticket we've sold is a $100,000 1st Prize in Lucky Lotteries Super Jackpot. This is the definitely the biggest scratchie win we’ve had. 

“Congraulations to our winner. We hope his family really enjoys it!”