Lotto winners


Story Details

Winners are grinners and one couple has every reason to smile -- first prize in lotto, reward for persistence -- they've been playing since 1979.

And like anyone who wins first division, their thoughts immediately turned to how much have we won and what will we do with it? 

They have their own plans for the money which they have kept to themselves for nine months -- and none of their six children will see a cent.  “They don't need the money, they've got their own jobs.  There are people out there that need it. Our children, as much as we love them, they can care for themselves. We brought them up to care for themselves”, the couple said.

Big lotto winners famously go on massive spending sprees, splashing cash on new houses, flash cars, and not working.  Its human nature and great fodder for a comedian like Akmal Saleh.  “People who win the lotto say it's not going to change me, I'm going to go back to work tomorrow.  Go back to work, that's silly right, people who say that should not have that money”, Akmal said.

But Ahkmal hasn't met Steve and Joy.  After a lifetime of sacrifice you'd think they'd go to town with their new found wealth -- well you can think again.  They have spent nothing.

No their big win will allow them to keep working.  Steve and Joy's daughter Rachel is quadriplegic and they founded a home respite centre south of Perth, after finding it so difficult and expensive to give Rachel even the shortest of holidays.  “So we started looking around and talked to some of her carers and by the time the weekend was finished it cost us almost $3000 to send Rachel away for two days.  There are other people out there in this situation where they can't afford to give their loved ones a holiday and that was really what made us want to do it”, the couple said.

Steve and Joy were both doing 12 hour shifts in a disabled taxi to keep the centre afloat but now thanks to their windfall,  that will not be such a struggle.  All of their $438,000 win is being ploughed back into the home. 

And right up until now, their children have been kept in the dark.

Of course there are people who regret telling family and friends of their good fortune.  Like William Post who collected more than $16 million only to have his brother try to have him killed.   After his landlady took a third, William somehow ended up broke.

And Melbourne woman Barbara Adolphus whose $470,000 win turned into a family fight for the cash. 

There are no such concerns for the Berry family, though Steve isn't quite sure what the reaction might be. 

But they have nothing to worry about according to daughter Erin.  “Anything that's good or bad they kind of hold to themselves unless they absolutely have to tell us, so it's not really much of a surprise that they didn’t tell us”, she said

Steve and Joy broke the news to Erin just before we started shooting this story.  “It kind of rang true”, Erin said.

It’s proof people's lotto dreams can be very different.  “It's made us fulfil our dream here and get the place up and running.  That's what we were working for before Lotto and Lotto's just made our dream come true”, Joy said