A lottery win can be a ticket to endless adventures. But with overseas travel temporarily off the table and many of us spending more time at home, how have Aussie winners enjoyed their prizes?

Well, we asked them!

In 2020, there were 484 division one winning entries held by lottery players across the country that delivered more than $1.24 billion in division one prize money.

From installing solar panels on the roof to paying for strangers’ groceries, division one winners found novel ways to enjoy their major lottery prizes during the global pandemic.

Pay it forward 

Sharing their good fortune has certainly been front of mind for recent winners.

More than half of the winners surveyed (52%) used their prize to help family and friends, while more than a quarter (27.63%) donated to a charity of their choice.

One generous respondent believed their prize had benefitted up to 150 people, while more than a quarter of respondents (27%) shared their windfall with more than ten people. 

A number of winners shared stories of paying it forward – including by anonymously paying for other shoppers’ groceries, paying off strangers’ accounts at their local stockfeed store, and covering other people’s purchases at pizza shops and bakeries. Another put gift cards in their neighbour's letterboxes. 

Get set for the future

With COVID showing us just how quickly things can change, lottery winners have focused on creating long-term plans.
Investing money for the future (59%), paying off the mortgage/buying a new house (57%), and helping family and friends (52%) were the top three plans for division one prizes. 

Others revealed plans for an early retirement and look forward to spending less time working and more time with loved ones. 
And even though we can’t pick up our passports just yet, winners are still dreaming of future travel adventures. Europe (particularly France and Italy) remained a favourite dream destination, while Canada, Alaska and Hawaii were also popular.

Enjoy the simple things

As for how they marked their winning moment — many had to find creative ways to celebrate, all without leaving the house. One winner revealed they celebrated with a cup of tea, while others admitted they enjoyed a simple takeaway meal or video called their family.

And when it came to treating themselves, some opted for home renovations or installing swimming pools and solar panels, while one purchased some long-coveted R.M. Williams’ boots. Not surprisingly, fewer division one winners used their prize for holidays and travel.

Advice to future winners

Many major prize winners described how this once-in-a-lifetime experience provided a beacon of positivity and hope to them and their loved ones during uncertain times.

The majority found it uplifting to share the news of their amazing win with their partner and immediate family. Only 11% told absolutely no one. 

Across all the division one winners, there’s three key pieces of advice to future winners: 

  1. Take a moment after the win to plan
  2. Enjoy sharing the winning feeling with your nearest and dearest
  3. Find the balance between enjoying yourself and making the best use of the prize

Want to find out more? Read the 2021 Winners Report here.