Australian woman takes home $60 million lottery jackpot

Sydney resident in her twenties is set for life

By Kate Northrop

SYDNEY, Australia — It isn’t every day you hear about a lottery winner on the younger side, but one Australian woman in her twenties just took home the $60 million (US$43.43 million) Australian Powerball jackpot in the draw on Thurs., Sept. 17.

She was the only person to win the jackpot outright with winning numbers 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 19, and 28, with Powerball number 6.

Her luck didn’t end there. She purchased a PowerHit ticket to add some extra cash onto her winnings for a grand total of $60,683,656.95 (about US$43.74 million). A PowerHit option on a Powerball ticket increases the chance of winning the jackpot by automatically using the player’s seven numbers 1 through 35 across 20 games — one game for every possible Powerball number to guarantee the player hits it.

The Lott, the Australian organization that operates the game, called the Sydney resident to confirm that she was indeed the sole winner. She initially missed the first call, but was more than pleased after picking up the second time.

“Are you joking?” the woman said. “Are you sure about this?”

The news came as such a shock that she burst into tears.

“I’m trying to compose myself,” she told the Lott. “I feel like this has to be some kind of joke.”

The lucky winner was reportedly surrounded by family when she got the phone call and knew right away how she’d use the winnings. Some of the plans involve paying off debts, helping out family members financially, and buying a house.

“Hopefully, when we can travel again, we will be able to take our whole family somewhere overseas,” she said. “This is very overwhelming. I’m shaking like a leaf.”

This is the ninth Division One jackpot won this year, with more than 1.5 million people entered in the Thursday night draw.

The big win comes after another Australian woman won a $20 million (US$14.67 million) Division One lottery jackpot last Tuesday in the Oz Lotto draw. The self-proclaimed “country girl,” a resident from Drouin in southeastern Australia, was also the only player to hold a top prize-winning ticket.

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