Winning from the beginning: Celebrating 50 years of TattsLotto
1972 was a very different time.
No mobile internet, no high-definition gaming consoles, no streaming TV.
But Victorians were about to be introduced to a new form of exciting entertainment – TattsLotto!
Today marks a very special occasion in Australian lottery history as we celebrate 50 years since the very first TattsLotto draw.
The draw first aired on HSV7 Melbourne on 22 June 1972, with a total prize pool of $168,450. The draw was initially held on a Thursday night but later moved to it's well-know Saturday draw time.
The division one prize of $50,535 might seem humble by today’s standards, but in the ‘70s that was almost enough to buy a new home in Toorak.
David Johnston and Lucy Kiraly hosted the draw and saw our first ever winning TattsLotto numbers of 37, 39, 1, 14, 18, 31, and the single supplementary number was 30.
By the ‘80s, the Australian Lottery Bloc syndicated the game to other Australian states, known as Gold Lotto in Queensland, X Lotto in South Australia and Lotto in New South Wales, but by then, the legacy of TattsLotto in Victoria was well established.
Louise Lovell-Brown is the co-owner of Lovell Shepparton Newsagency, a local family business that has been part of the TattsLotto story from the start.
“When TattsLotto launched in 1972, my dad put a big sign up. He had all the windows painted, saying TattsLotto,” Louise recounted.
“My brother and sister and I thought it was hysterical when one of the customers came in and called him Mr TattsLotto, instead of Mr Lovell.”
Louise and her family have seen many changes over the years as the game evolved, but she still vividly recalls the early days when draw entries were manually validated.
“There was a mad rush because we would keep the draw open for as long as we could on a Friday afternoon. Then we had to balance the amount of coupons, and then we’d bundle them all up into a sealed container to meet the 4pm train deadline at Shepparton station to get it to Melbourne before the draw closed at 8pm,” she said.
“There was a mad dash chasing the train down the highway. I remember on a few occasions having to take them to Melbourne.
“The most exciting thing to happen with Tattslotto was when we went to the GTECH machines, and we no longer had to do the manual balancing and checking. The games really flourished from then.”
Unsurprisingly, it’s the winning moments shared with everyday customers that Louise remembers most fondly.
“It has been a very rewarding opportunity for us to have the business and share so many good news stories. I always say we’re in the business of selling dreams and sometimes dreams do come true,” she said.
“I remember our first winner, and my dad had the whole front shop window painted. They won like $43,000. In those days, it was like winning one-and-a-half million now. It was an elderly customer, and it was just amazing to think how it’s changed people’s lives.
“Fifty years of TattsLotto is very special and there would be very few of us who have been around since the beginning.”
After half a century of exciting draws, TattsLotto has earned its reputation as an Australian favourite and a game renowned for making millionaires. So far in 2022, there have already been 89 millionaires made Australia wide.
With a special $20 Million Superdraw on this weekend, there’s a chance you could experience a piece of history and be the next TattsLotto millionaire!
We can’t wait to see what the next 50 years of TattsLotto brings.