An Armidale woman has confessed her curiosity about the local million dollar Keno win got the better of her, so she snuck out during her lunch break to check her ticket - only to discover she was the city's newest millionaire!
She takes home the major prize worth $1,149,572.50, after playing Keno at Armidale City Bowling Club on the weekend.
Sharing her disbelief with a Keno official this afternoon, the overjoyed winner recounted how she discovered the life-changing news.
"I can't believe it! I feel numb! I'm sitting at work and I don't know what to do with myself! I'm bewildered!" she exclaimed.
"I'm certainly not getting much work done. I feel like I am in no man's land because I know I have won, but I don't think I'll believe it until I see the money in my bank account.
The woman said she played Keno at the club on Saturday afternoon, but did not watch the draw.
"I left the venue shortly afterwards to go somewhere else, and when I got back, I didn't even think about checking my ticket.
"It wasn't until my husband told me he read it in the paper that someone in Armidale had won that I knew there had been a 10 Spot win.
"I thought to myself 'Good on them! It's time this town had a major prize win' without realising it was me.
"I read the article and saw that it was for the same draw number my ticket was for, but I just didn't want to believe it.
"My husband spent the weekend teasing me saying 'it could be you!'.
"I wouldn't let myself think about it, but it got the better of me, so I snuck out in my lunch break today to check my ticket.
"On the way there, I kept telling myself not to get too excited and had started rehearsing my 'disappointment speech' to myself.
"I ran into someone I knew, and it was hard to act normal while I was chatting away. I didn't want to be rude to them, but I just knew I had to leave and check this ticket.
"When they scanned it and said I had won, that's then it really started to get exciting. I still can't believe it!"
The regular player revealed how she came to hold the winning numbers on her Keno entry.
"I play the same numbers every week. They are special to me because they are the birthdates of my beloved family members," she explained.
"I've been playing them for years and years because they mean something to me and now they've finally come good!
"I had bought a couple of entries the day before the club closed due to COVID-19 so I couldn't wait until they had reopened to check them.
"When I did check them, they had some small wins on them, so I used them towards these tickets to go from 25 games to 50 games.
"I'm glad I did because I won on the 31st game!"
When asked how she planned to enjoy her life as a newly-minted millionaire thanks to her Keno windfall, the winner revealed her husband had spent the past two days planning.
"Even though I hadn't checked the ticket yet and wouldn't let myself believe I could be the winner, that didn't stop my husband from playing 'what if?'," she laughed.
"He kept saying 'well if we've won, we can do this' and we've decided we are going to share it with our children.
"I'm on the cusp of retiring too so I think I'll be talking to my boss as soon as possible to see how early I can finish working. I know I won't be able to concentrate for the rest of the year!
"Then we will buy some sort of vehicle and work our way around Australia."
The bowling club's CEO Walter Sauer said he was thrilled the winner had discovered the life-changing prize.
"It's a rewarding experience to have been able to play a part in this amazing moment in time for our customer," he said.
"From all of us here at the club we want to say a huge congratulations!
"We wish her all the best for her future!"
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