A young Melbourne man in his 20s has been revealed as one of the two winners of the top prize in Thursday’s record-equalling $100 million Powerball prize draw.
But the hunt for the other $50 million winner – the owner of a ticket bought in southern Sydney – goes on.
The lucky Melbourne man told lottery officials on Friday morning that he slept on the knowledge of his mammoth win after checking his entry before going to bed late on Thursday.
“I’m trying to remain as calm as possible,” he said. “I’m going to do the right thing. This win is life-changing.
“I’m going to look after my whole family – invest money in property and shares. It will make a massive difference to a lot of people.”
The tickets were the only ones that had all the winning numbers in the draw, which offered the equal-largest division one lottery prize pool in Australian history.
Lottery operator The Lott said identifying the winners had been delayed because the Sydney entry was unregistered, and the Melbourne man had not supplied all of his contact details.
“We can guarantee that when they discover the news, their life is set to change when their bank balance balloons by a whopping $50 million,” spokesman Matthew Hart said.
Newsagents across the nation had queues out the door for the record-equalling draw on Thursday, despite the odds of winning first prize being one in 134 million.
In further signs punters were desperate to find out whether they would win the big prize on Thursday, the Oz Lotteries website crashed.
Minutes before the draw was due to air on TV, the site’s error page declared: “It’s not you, it’s us!”
It was the second time an Australian lottery had offered a $100 million first division prize, with a 2012 Oz Lotto draw also reaching that mark.
Australian Gambling Research Centre manager Rebecca Jenkinson said three factors were at play in luring people to play a lottery.
Humans have difficulty processing and understanding the minuscule odds of winning first prize, she said, while collecting a few numbers brings on the near-miss effect. And, then, we dream.
“We’ve all got that hope and it’s nice to dream,” Dr Jenkinson said.
“We’ve seen people win before, we’ve heard people win before so it’s the ‘why not us?’ at play.”
Dr Jenkinson says about half of all Australians adults have taken part in an official lottery in the past year. A third play at least monthly.
Thursday night’s winning numbers were 3, 13, 27, 31, 32, 33, 35, and the powerball was 3.