For Deaf Lottery 186 Winners Steve and Elodie*, their $800,000 could not have come at a better time. We caught up with Steve to chat about their big win, and what it has meant for them.
“I thought it was a hoax,” Steve says, laughing, thinking back to the morning of the call telling him his ticket had been drawn first in the Deaf Lottery 186 Major Prize Draw. “I hung up straight away but luckily (Deaf Lottery Sales Manager) Alex was persistent!”
Steve is only a couple of years into retirement and is still adjusting to a quieter life after working as a fly-in fly-out mining machine operator for 32 years.
“They bought in driverless trucks at the mines, so there wasn’t a lot of use for me any more,” says Steve. “I was basically ready to finish up, so that just helped me make the decision I suppose.”
Steve admits that the news of the $800,000 windfall is still sinking in, but it’s already delivered he and Elodie that most precious thing in these times – peace of mind.
“We sold our house after retirement and moved,” says Steve. “This will help us to live more comfortably.”
Amazingly, the win came just before Steve’s birthday and a week before he and Elodie’s 20th wedding anniversary. If they didn’t have reason to celebrate already, then they certainly did now!
“We stayed at the Crown for a couple of days to kick up our heels,” Steve says. “We’re lucky here that we can still move around a bit in the community so we made the most of it.”
Steve and Elodie, with five children between them and relatives in nearly every state and territory, have been slowly revealing the news to family and friends.
“We’ve told the kids,” says Steve. “They’re all getting a little bit to set them up.”
Steve and Elodie did agree on one immediate purchase: a brand new car. Steve excitedly describes the 2020 Toyota Prado Kakadu that will soon be all his, including all the bells and whistles.
“They’re still building it, it’s that new!” Steve laughs. “We’ll get it in October, and we both can’t wait. I used to drive an older version in the mines, but this one will be a bit newer!”
Steve has already planned his ultimate road trip in his new car, when state borders reopen.
“I love the Great Ocean Road,” he says. “I’ve driven it six times and I can’t wait to do it again. We’ll drive across to Victoria, do the road, pop the car on a boat and then have three weeks in Tassie. Absolutely perfect.”
We recently rounded up the very best road trip in your state! Check them out HERE.
The rest of the prize will go towards savings and investment, setting up the Perth couple for a stress-free retirement. As Steve simply puts it: “Life will be so much easier now.”
Steve and Elodie had supported the Deaf Lottery since 2009, and joined as VIP Club Members in 2014. For them, the choice to purchase tickets was never about the prize. Steve lives with moderate hearing loss but his brother is deaf, as was his father.
“We support causes like yours because we believe in them,” Steve says. “If you win, you win, but it’s not really about that.”
Steve tells us the most common reaction is disbelief when he tells people about his big win, and they all receive the same piece of advice.
“Hopefully you’ll have a lot more supporters now I’ve told my story!” he laughs. “A few people have said how did you win that much money? I say to them that there’s one trick to it: buy some tickets!”
*Names changed to protect anonymity
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