Kaitangata is a small coal mining town on the east coast of the South Island, about 80 kilometres from Dunedin. When Mike Dodds was a child, the mines were open and the town had everything its people needed.
“Now,” Mike explains, “there’s just a fish and chip shop and everyone works in the next town over.”
While Kaitangata might be Mike’s hometown, he now considers Broadbeach – where he sells Deaf Lottery tickets from his kiosk at Oasis Shopping Centre – home.
“My wife and I owned a dairy (convenience store) in Queenstown and when we sold up, we didn’t want to go back to where we came from,” Mike explains. “We had been to the Gold Coast on holidays before, so we decided to move over.”
After three months, Mike’s wife Kathey asked when he was going to stop going to the beach and get a job. Mike had previously purchased lottery tickets from the kiosk at Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach. As he didn’t want to work for someone, he decided to purchase the kiosk.
“I was going to stay three or four years, but 21 years later I’m still here!” he laughs.
While Mike sells tickets to a couple of different lotteries, he has continuously sold Deaf Lottery tickets for his entire 21 year tenure.
“The Deaf tickets for me are great because I’ve always been able to bring in any car I like,” Mike says.
This flexibility became important for Mike when he was hospitalised with cancer a few years ago. Thinking outside the square, he approached centre management about the possibility of bringing in a Harley Davidson motorcycle for his display. They said yes and a motorcycle joined the Mustang already on display.
While Mike has many fond memories from his time behind the kiosk, there are two stories that stand out.
“I sold a winning ticket [for] a house on the water plus a beachside unit,” Mike explains. “The winners came to see me and said, ‘What do you drink?’ When I said I haven’t had alcohol for 20 years, he said, ‘Damn, I’ll get you a bottle of Coke then!’ I thought, how lucky am I?”
Another good memory involves a 21 year old Deaf Lottery first prize winner.
“The prize then was $350 000,” Mike says. “He built a house in Burleigh and ended up with no mortgage, a great start in life for a young guy.”
You can purchase Deaf Lottery tickets from Mike’s kiosk at Oasis Shopping Centre (75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach) during trading hours. Who knows – you might be Mike’s next big winner!